EU Raises Stakes for Trump by Aiming Levies at GOP Heartland


Things seem to have chilled out a bit on the trade war front – just a bit. Hopefully everyone will take a step back, take a deep breath, and avoid anything rash.

Tariffs are unwise. They might make a certain constituency happy, fundamentally a crony constituency, but the knock on effects for the broader economy could be very destructive.

It is interesting to note that Wisconsin is now seen as part of the “GOP heartland.”

(From Bloomberg)

Targeting 2.8 billion euros ($3.5 billion) of American goods, the EU aims to apply a 25 percent tit-for-tat levy on a range of consumer, agricultural and steel products imported from the U.S. if Trump follows through on his tariff threat, according to a list drawn up by the European Commission and obtained by Bloomberg News. The list of targeted U.S. goods — including motorcycles, jeans and bourbon whiskey — sends a political message to Washington about the potential domestic economic costs of making good on the president’s threat.

Paul Ryan, Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, comes from the same state — Wisconsin — where motorbike maker Harley-Davidson Inc. is based. Earlier this week, Ryan said he was “extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war” and urged Trump to drop his tariff proposal.

Other U.S. politicians will also feel the pressure. Bourbon whiskey hails from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. San Francisco-based jeans maker Levi Strauss is headquartered in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district.

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