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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Europeans Threaten Trade Retaliation - Against Swing States

Posted by DavidNYC

Following up on my remarks yesterday about a potential trade war vis-a-vis the steel tariffs: The New York Times reports on European threats to retaliate if the US doesn't lift its trade "safeguards", which include both tariffs and illegal export subidies. Apparently, the WTO's appellate decision will be handed down earlier than I had realized: Nov. 10th. If the US doesn't comply with the WTO's ruling (which is widely expected to uphold a previous decision that declared the tariffs illegal), the EU is warning that it will impose up to $6.2 billion in sanctions against us.

The most intriguing bit here is that the Europeans definitely understand swing state politics:

The European Union already has a list of sanctions targeted at American products in ways intended to maximize political pain for Bush's Republican Party: they would aim at Harley Davidson motorcycles manufactured in Wisconsin, citrus products from Florida and textiles from the Southeast.

Will the Japanese follow suit and block imports of pacemakers from Minnesota? Or perhaps the Chinese will slap tariffs on Girls Gone Wild videos from Mardi Gras. Doubtless the chintzy plastic bead-making industry is awaiting these developments with bated breath.

Posted at 07:50 PM in Economy | Technorati