The European Commission proposes sanctions against US products, worth 2.5 billion euro, in retaliation for US tariffs on imported steel.
The proposed sanctions, that the Commission is discussing with the 15 EU Member States, would hit around 300 US products, from steel and textile to furniture, paper and citrus fruit. The list is comprised of products for which the EU is not dependent on US imports.
The retaliation is designed to put pressure on the US to withdraw its steel tariffs against EU producers. The EU hopes the planned retaliatory action will convince the US to agree to give compensation for lost trade in steel.
The sanctions would mostly hit the US states where the EU believes President George W. Bush will be particularly vulnerable in congressional elections later this year. Orange juice from Florida and Harley-Davidson based in Wisconsin would be hit by retaliatory action, but textiles are the biggest item on the list.