Saturday 20 October 2018

In firing line for Trump trade war

Our open economy leaves us very exposed to an escalation of the tariff spat between the US and EU, writes Dan White

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Dan White

Dan White

The current round of hostilities began on March 1, when the Trump administration announced tariffs of 25pc on steel imports and 10pc on aluminium imports.

If Trump expected America's trading partners to roll over and accept the new tariffs, then he miscalculated. Instead, the EU retaliated by imposing tariffs of its own on a wide range of imports from the US - including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Bourbon whiskey and Levi's jeans.

So far so bad. However, it is the President's threat to retaliate against the EU retaliatory tariffs that threatens to turn what has up to now been no more a nasty bout of handbags into something much more serious.

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