The European Union has introduced tariffs on $3.2 billion (£2.4 billion) worth of US goods.
The tariffs came into force on Friday and are viewed to be in retaliation for the imported steel and aluminium tariffs that were imposed by the Trump administration earlier this month.
The 25 percent tariff will be placed on US products such as whiskey, tobacco, Harley Davidson motorcycles (NYSE: HOG) and peanut butter. A 50 percent tariff has been placed on footwear, certain clothing, and washing machines.
On Thursday, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said to the Irish Parliament that the US imposed tariffs went “against all logic and history.”
“Our response must be clear but measured,” he added. “We will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard” the EU.
The tariffs enforced by the EU affect mainly goods produced in Republican states in order to affect the President’s party in the run-up to the November midterm elections.
The US tariffs on steel and aluminium not only affect the EU but also Canada, Mexico, India and other allies.
Canada announced plans to impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion (£9.5 billion) worth of US exports from 1 July. Two weeks ago, Mexico put tariffs on $3 billion worth of American products.
Speaking on Thursday, Trump told a crowd in Duluth, Minn: “You look at the European Union, they put up barriers so that we can’t sell our farm products in. And yet they sell Mercedes (ETR: DAI) and BMW (ETR: BMW), and the cars come in by the millions. And we hardly tax them at all.”
A CNN poll showed that people in the US would rather maintain a good relationship with ally countries than impose tariffs on foreign goods. One-quarter of the poll’s respondents said they would prioritise high tariffs over strong relationships with trade partners.