Bourbon and Levi's prices to rise as European Union enforces tariffs on US



Adding as much as £200m per year to the cost of consumer goods arriving in Britain from the United States, the measures came after Donald Trump imposed additional tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium shipped from the EU. Last year, £171 billion worth of cars were exported from the European Union, with the United States accounting for 25% of them.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in May launched an investigation into whether auto imports hurt United States national security.

The commerce department plans to hold two days of public comments in July on its probe of automotive imports.

High-end competitor BMW says it is following the global situation "more closely than ever".

The group, whose members include European automakers BMW, Volkswagen, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo, says automakers favor reducing trade barriers and "achieving fairness through facilitating rather than inhibiting trade".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday the US's new stance on trade "goes against all logic and history".

Trump has repeatedly singled out German automotive imports to the USA for criticism.

Tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of American exports to Europe took effect on Friday.

"Imports of steel and aluminum products from Japan do not pose a threat to the national security of the United States but are contributing to USA industry and employment", the top government spokesman said.

The United States has granted exemptions to some products from Japan and four other countries from its additional tariffs on steel imports, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

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Donald Trump has stepped up his war on global trade, which could endanger $400 billion in commerce. The so-called "Chicken Tax" on light trucks has effectively isolated the truck makes and models and required automakers to invest billions into production facilities in North America to produce the trucks and skirt the steep tariff. He argued that global oversupply of steel and aluminium, driven by China, threatened American steel and aluminium producers, vital to the US.

Now, around 340 USA products are being slapped with tariffs when they enter the EU.

This will clearly send shockwaves throughout the European Union but particularly in Germany - Europe's largest auto producing nation and the country of origin of the vast majority of European cars on American roads.

The European Union issued an alarming warning today, following Trump's auto tariff comments.

Although a large portion of the US's most popular auto models, including those from foreign brands (such as the upcoming BMW X7), are already manufactured within its borders, many are imported from other countries.

"The basis for future agreements between the European Union and the USA must be the rules of the WTO", the German auto industy group VDA said in a statement Thursday.

The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups.

The US has imposed tariffs valued at £25bn on Chinese goods - as well as on imports from Canada and Mexico.

Mercedes is expected to sell about 20,000 convertibles this year in the United States and BMW fewer than 16,000, LMC projected. It accounts for 5% of Volkswagen's VW brand sales and 12% of its Audi brand sales.

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