The European Commission is contemplating giving the US a taste of its own medicine.
Europe plans $300m sanctions retaliation on US,
by Michael Mann and Edward Alden for the Financial Times.
The European Commission on Friday proposed slapping more than $300m of trade sanctions on politically-sensitive US products, including fruit, T-shirts, steel, guns and even billiard tables, in retaliation for US-imposed steel tariffs.
The Commission's proposal for retaliation, which would require majority backing from the 15 EU member states, is designed to "hit the US where it hurts" by targeting exports from states crucial to US president George W. Bush's re-election. These include citrus fruits from Florida, apples and pears from Washington and Oregon, and steel from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The plan would levy tariffs worth E377m ($336m) on US exports of those products.
The plan calls for the sanctions to be imposed on June 18. But the US warned such early retaliation would be a fundamental violation of international trading rules. One US trade official said it would "strike at the heart of the multilateral trade system".
The Commission proposal is aimed at increasing pressure on the US to reconsider its decision last month to impose tariffs of up to 30 per cent on steel imports, including E2.4bn ($2.1bn) of steel from Europe.
Okay, I get it: Levying tariffs on US imports into Europe would 'strike at the heart of the multilateral trade system', but imposing 30% tariffs on european steel imports into the US just sort of 'nibbles in between the toes of the multilateral trade system.' (Aw heck, the multilateral trade system probably likes it.)Posted by Lisa at May 06, 2002 07:30 AM | TrackBack