European Union calls for industry input on United States tariff retaliation list

Trump Xi

"Tariffs are a tax on consumers and they're best used sparingly as tools".

According to a European Union official, the bloc has been ready for Trump's announcement for months, and that plans are made for a quick response.

Trump is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish China for its investment policies that effectively force USA companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country, as well as for other IP practices Washington considers unfair. And amid the staff turmoil at the White House, it's being read as a sign of rising influence for the administration's populist economic aides, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and adviser Peter Navarro. A U.S. Treasury spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But the new tariffs have drawn rebukes from top lawmakers in Trump's own Republican Party as well as fierce opposition from industry groups, which fear rising consumer prices and raw materials costs as well as diminished access to export markets.

While the confusing manner in which the President made this decision has done little to reassure American workers or calm global tensions, I believe that we must protect the livelihoods of domestic steel and aluminum workers.

"It's staggering-staggering!-what China does in terms of cheating the global system, and it's refreshing that we finally have a president that's standing up for all the American people and standing up to China on all this". "Alarm bells are ringing".

The newly ascendant Navarro emerged triumphant last week when former top economic advisor Gary Cohn resigned following a bruising internal battle over whether to impose the steel and aluminum tariffs.

The Republican Party won't mount an effective opposition to new tariffs: While the president has been quite clumsy in mustering an worldwide coalition to achieve his trade goals, he has been masterful at neutering Republican opposition to them.

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Still, any move to punish China carries risks for the United States and the world as a whole.

Trump's focus on China could be even more consequential, both at home and overseas, than the recently announced penalty tariffs on steel and aluminum.

"If this is serious, the Chinese will retaliate".

China has repeatedly said that there would be no winners in a trade war, but that it would protect its interests in the face of USA trade action.

"All these countries that are running huge trade surpluses with us, have no incentive to rock that boat".

Brussels also published another list of additional products that could be targeted, after three years, if no progress is made on resolving the trade spat at the WTO, or if the WTO rules against the U.S. measures. And that has industry groups and some lawmakers scrambling to prevent the next front in a potential trade war that could reverberate across the US economy.

One Washington business source who had discussed the issue with the White House said the figure had now grown to about $60 billion, with a potentially wider array of products under consideration.

But Navarro, a key architect of steel and aluminum tariffs announced last week by Trump, said that tariffs will not necessarily provoke a trade war.

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