The European Union is making good on its promise to hit back against President Donald Trump‘s trade policy, slapping tariffs on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) worth of U.S. products, including footwear and apparel, in effect as of Friday.
More than a dozen categories of footwear are specifically named in the long list of goods affected, including leather shoes, sneakers, sandals and slippers, all of which will face additional 25 percent duties coming into Europe from the States.
The tariffs are a response to the Trump administration’s March announcement that it would impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imported to the U.S., part of a broader plan to safeguard U.S. manufacturing that’s already stoked trade battles with China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Turkey.
At the time, Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, told FN that while the U.S. doesn’t export a significant amount of product to Europe, any overall trade war concerns pose a threat to the American public. “Our broader concern is the consumer,” he said. “If the economy goes south because of these actions, that’s going to hurt us. If there’s less disposable income, there’s less income for families to go out and buy footwear or anything else.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that the Trump administration’s punitive trade policy “goes against all logic and history.” The EU has also filed a case with the World Trade Organization, calling the tariffs “pure protectionist” and “illegal.” Trump, however, doubled down in a tweet on Friday, threatening additional tariffs of 20 percent on automobiles imported from Europe.