US could face new EU tariffs from July on products like peanut butter

Finance news

The U.S. could be hit by new EU duties as early as July as the region responds to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose metal tariffs on Europe.

The European Commission — which is responsible for trade negotiations on behalf of the EU’s 28 member states — said Wednesday that it is working on new taxes on American products so these can come into effect in about three weeks’ time.

“The Commission expects to conclude the relevant procedure in coordination with member states before the end of June so that the new duties start applying in July,” Maros Sefcovic, vice-president of the European Commission, told journalists in Brussels Wednesday.

The list of products that will see new duties includes peanut butter, Bourbon as well as motorbikes, and is worth 2.8 billion euros ($ 3.3 billion).

These are a response to the White House decision to put a 25 percent tax on steel products and 10 percent on aluminum, announced late last week. In the eyes of the EU, the metal duties are “illegal” as the 28-member bloc is not a threat to the U.S. national security, as the U.S. administration argued.

All the 28 member states still need to vote on how exactly the new tariffs will be implemented.