Malmstrom said that "we are left with no other choice".
The total amount of U.S. goods exported to China amounted to only US$130 billion (S$177 billion) past year, meaning that Mr Trump's potential tariffs on US$250 billion or more of Chinese imports can not be matched, at least directly.
"We're going to fix the problem of protectionism around the world, and we're going to fix it by making it more painful for those countries to do bad practices than to do the right thing, which is to lower the trade barriers and lower their tariffs".
The European Union will start taxing a range of USA imports Friday, June 22, including quintessentially American goods like Harley-Davidson bikes and cranberries, in response to President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on European steel and aluminum.
Just 20 minutes before the president's tweet, the EU's ambassador to the US, David O'Sullivan, tweeted "that the EU-US economic relationship is the most important in the world bar none".
The EU, which is the world's biggest trading bloc, has taken its case to the World Trade Organization.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's trade commissioner, acknowledged that the European Union had targeted some iconic American imports for tariffs, like Harley-Davidson motorcycles and bourbon, to "make noise" and put pressure on USA leaders.
The EU trade commissioner has acknowledged that the EU targeted some iconic American items to put political pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump and senior U.S. politicians.
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The new European Union tariffs are meant to retaliate for Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, which European Union leaders have declared illegal on numerous occasions and are contesting before the World Trade Organization.
Daniel Gros, director for Economy and Finance at the Center for European Policy Studies, said that in a trade war everyone stands to lose, but the USA has put itself in a worse position. "They do have, though, very strong Immigration Laws", Trump posted on Twitter, a day after a vote on a compromise immigration measure was postponed in the House. The potential trade action would affect more than $200 billion in USA imports, PIIE said.
The statement followed a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell was bringing a proposal to Washington from German automakers to eliminate auto tariffs across the Atlantic.
"If you have trade barriers and restrictions, we can not create as many jobs as we are planning to", Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters at an event celebrating the new facility. Bejing will respond in kind. It expects to employ 2,000 people initially, eventually bringing the workforce up to 4,000, according to its website.
The rising tensions and the chaos surrounding the steel and aluminum tariffs are starting to generate pushback on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, who opposes the vehicle tariffs, did the math for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at a hearing this month.