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Trump says US to strike harder if EU starts $4B tariffs

Bryce Baschuk  |  Bloomberg

The U.S. will “strike much harder” if the European Union goes ahead with tariffs on $4 billion worth of American products, President Donald Trump said.

The EU this month won the World Trade Organization’s permission to hit U.S. goods with tariffs in its ruling over illegal state aid American provided to Boeing Co.

“If they strike back, then we’ll strike much harder,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “They don’t want to do anything, I can tell you that.”

The EU – which has drawn up a list of products that will face tariffs – will likely hold fire until after the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, according to three officials familiar with the bloc’s thinking. The award is lower than the $7.5 billion judgment granted to the U.S. last year in a parallel dispute against Boeing’s European rival, Airbus SE.

The industries the EU has targeted include aircraft, coal, farm products and seafood, said the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.