Trump is starting a global trade war

Posted May 31, 2018 10:17 a.m. EDT

— The European Union will respond to new US tariffs on steel and aluminum with punitive measures targeting American products worth billions of dollars.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said the bloc would move ahead with tariffs that are expected to affect roughly $7.5 billion worth of US exports. It will also lodge a case with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"The United States now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the United States," Juncker said in a statement.

The move is a reaction to the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

The European Union has said that its retaliatory measures, which could be in place as soon as June 20, would include 25% tariffs on American products including motorcycles, denim, cigarettes, cranberry juice and peanut butter.

"Today is a bad day for world trade," said EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström. "We did everything to avoid this outcome."

The Mexican government said that the US action was not justified, and that it would retaliate with its own comparable penalties on US lamps, pork, fruit, cheese and flat steel.