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EU Begins Tariffs On U.S. Goods


Many American products are going to be more expensive to buy in Europe beginning today. The European Union has started imposing its tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of U.S. imports. That list includes hundreds of items, everything from steel to orange juice. NPR's Dustin Dwyer has a look at who's likely to feel the impact.

DUSTIN DWYER, BYLINE: This is the second round of retaliatory tariffs since the White House announced 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico. Mexico hit back first. And the EU's full list of tariffs covers big stuff like steel and boats and also T-shirts, porcelain plates, blue jeans and even cranberry concentrate, which faces a 25 percent tariff.

TERRY HUMFELD: The cranberry concentrate exports to the EU would represent about 12 percent of all of our U.S. exports. So yes, it's a fairly significant deal.

DWYER: Terry Humfeld is executive director of The Cranberry Institute. He says the tariffs are a big deal to his industry, but the $41 million in cranberry concentrate they export to Europe is tiny compared to the overall tariffs. He can't say for sure why cranberry concentrate is being singled out, but nearly two-thirds of all cranberry products come from Wisconsin, home of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Another big Wisconsin exporter - Harley Davidson, also hit by EU tariffs. And in Kentucky, home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, bourbon is on the list. But it's still early, and lots of people aren't panicking yet. The peanut butter industry isn't because, you guessed it, peanut butter is also on the list. Peter Archer (ph) is head of the American Peanut Council.

PATRICK ARCHER: We just hope that the U.S. and European Union, trade negotiators can hopefully resolve the differences soon so that we can all get back to doing our normal business.

DWYER: The EU's commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmstrom, says she also wants things to return to normal. In New Zealand, earlier this week, she was asked about rising tensions between the U.S. and China. And in a press conference recorded by New Zealand's Scoop, she said the ricocheting attacks threaten everyone else.


CECILIA MALMSTROM: Yes, we are very worried about this, of course, because it could - has not yet - but it could escalate to a full trade war, which would be bad for the whole globe.

DWYER: But the conflicts show no sign of slowing down. On July 1, Canada's retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. kick in. And the Trump administration says it's working on a massive new round of tariffs against China. Dustin Dwyer, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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