Geneva: India and the European Union (EU) have given the World Trade Organisation (WTO) lists of the US products that could incur high tariffs in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s global tariffs on steel and aluminium, WTO filings showed on Friday.
The EU said Trump’s steel tariffs could cost $1.5 billion and aluminium tariffs a further $100 million, and listed rice, cranberries, bourbon, corn, peanut butter, and steel products among the US goods that it might target for retaliation.
India said it was facing additional US tariffs of $31 million on aluminium and $134 million on steel, and listed US exports of soya oil, palmolein and cashew nuts among its potential targets for retaliatory tariffs.
One trade official described the lists of retaliatory tariffs as “loading a gun”, making it plain to US exporters that pain might be on the way.
India said its tariffs would come into effect by June 21, unless and until US removed its tariffs.
The EU said some retaliation could be applied from June 20.
Trump’s tariffs, 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium, came into force in March to strong opposition as many see the measures as unjustified and populist.
There were also objections that the tariffs would have little impact on China, widely seen to be the cause of oversupply in the market.
Trump justified the tariffs by claiming they were for US national security, in a bid to protect them from any legal challenge at the WTO, causing further controversy.
Rather than challenging the US tariffs directly, the EU and India, like China, South Korea and Russia, US that they regarded Trump’s tariffs as “safeguards” under the WTO rules, which means US trading partners are entitled to compensation for loss of trade.