European Union to impose retaliatory tariffs on United States starting in July

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Furious Brussels is retaliating after President Trump imposed a 25 percent levy on steel imports from the EU and 10 percent on metal imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union - claiming it was down to national security reasons.

The European Union intends to exercise its right immediately on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of USA products, while the remaining rebalancing estimated at 3.6 billion euros ($4.2 billion) will take place in three years or following "a positive finding in WTO dispute settlement if that should come sooner", the statement noted.

The "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2-point-8 billion euros worth of USA imports could increase to a 3-point-6 billion euros if the WTO rules in favor of the EU.

The European Commission has prepared a list of American products that will be hit by additional tariffs of between 10 and 50 percent, despite admitting this could provoke a full-on trade war.

The EU issued an update on its response on Wednesday, 24 hours after Mexico confirmed it had launched tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. steel and was also targeting USA goods such as pork and bourbon products.

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Those tariffs could go into effect "in three years' time or after a positive finding in WTO dispute settlement if that should come sooner", according to the European Union statement.

"It's hard to say what President Trump will do next, but this is our response".

Brussels said it would proceed with a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute and impose additional duties on United States imports.

The broad support is in response to what is seen an as illegal action by Washington.

"The EU's reaction is fully in line with worldwide trade law". That could spark another round of escalation. Those products include USA steel and aluminum as well as food and other agricultural products.