Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Brussels — Clothing, orange juice, cosmetics and other products from the US may be subject to European Union duties if US President Donald Trump carries out his threat to impose global import duties on steel and aluminium.

The European Commission has said it would respond "firmly" to proposed US import duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. It has drawn up a list of €2.8bn worth of US products on which it could apply a 25% tariff.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday those products included Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and Levi jeans.

The commission briefed representatives from the EU’s 28 countries on Monday, showing them the list, which is split fairly equally in value between steel products, consumer products and food and drink.

EU diplomats said on Tuesday that the second category, worth just more than € 1bn, included shirts, jeans, textiles, footwear, cosmetics, motorcycles and recreational boats.

The food and drink category, worth just under €1bn, included bourbon whiskey, maize and orange juice.

The products can generally be sourced elsewhere. Some come from states important to the US Republican Party. Harley Davidson, for example, is based in Wisconsin, the home state of House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. Bourbon comes mostly from Kentucky, home to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The list of counter-measures remains subject to the US administration’s actually imposing tariffs on EU steel and aluminium. Trump said the plan would be formally announced this week.

Reuters