A day after President Donald Trump publicly weighed tariffs on aluminum and steel, the head of the European Union Commission threatened to take retaliatory action by charging duties on American-made goods.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Union Commission, said that if the tariffs were implemented, the EU would impost its own tariffs on American products like Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon — items that notably come from the home states of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Juncker told the German media these plans, according to a report in the New York Times, but he also said the proposal had not been finalized.
After Trump made his initial announcement on March 1, Juncker called the proposed tariffs “blatant intervention to protect US domestic industry,” since the U.S. plan had no national security justification backing it.
“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk,” Juncker said in the statement. “The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.”
Trump defended his decision Friday morning on Twitter. “We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!” he wrote.
Levi’s Harley Davidson, and the Kentucky Distiller’s Association did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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