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From sunbeds to slippers – stuff that could cost more in a trade war with Trump

Luke James
Brussels correspondent
US President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on metal imports from Europe, triggering retaliatory measures (Getty)

When US President Donald Trump first announced he was imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, the European Commission drew up a list.

On it are 182 US products – ranging from iconic to the everyday – that the EU said they would target with their own tariffs if they didn’t receive an exemption from President Trump.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put it like this: “We can also be stupid.”

With news that the US has decided to hit the EU with tariffs, a list that was probably meant to be a deterrent will now be put into force.

Items on the list could be subject to an extra tax of up to 50% when they enter an EU country.

That will hit the profit margins of their US producers, but also potentially hit their European consumers in the pocket.

Levi Jeans are on the list of US products which the EU plan to raise tariffs on (Getty)

“Often companies absorb some of the increase in tariffs by reducing their own profit margin,” explained Guntram Wolff of economics think-tank Bruegel.

“But when we’re talking about tariffs of 25 per cent, it’s difficult to just absorb that. It means that prices will pretty quickly go up in Europe.”

It’s well known that Levi jeans, bourbon whiskey and Harley Davidson motorcycles, as well as metal products, are on the list. But what about the rest?

It’s potentially bad news for boating enthusiasts of all abilities – tariffs are lined-up for inflatable pleasure boats, motorboats and fishing vessels.

Those looking to achieve a Trump-style tan without heading to the seaside will be worried by the 50% tariff earmarked for sunbeds, sunlamps and “other tanning equipment.”

Inflatable boats are among US products that could be targeted in EU countermeasures (Getty)

On the other hand, people seeking some shade will be gloomy about the potential added costs for garden umbrellas.

Some food and drink could get more expensive with 25% tariffs on sweetcorn, rice, orange and cranberry juice.

The price of serving it could also go up with 50% tariffs on porcelain and china kitchenware. That’s not to mention cleaning them – dishwashers are also on the list.

The same applies for clothing – slippers, cotton t-shirts, trousers and shorts are targetted along with washing machines.

Looking your best could cost more as tariffs are levied on “eye makeup preparations” and jewellery.

And there’s bad news for gamers of all generations with tariffs on playing cards and “cordless infrared remote-control devices for video game consoles.”

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom explained the EU’s decision to put tariffs on US products (Getty)

Aircraft seats, rear view mirrors, and electric fence energisers are among some of the more curious items to be found.

The tariffs are set to come into force on June 20, but changes to the list could be made before then.

The EU could also decide to target some of the products now and hold sanctions on other back.

“We’re not seeking to escalate any situation, but we need to respond,” explained European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.

“We’ll do so in a measured manner but not responding would be the same as accepting these tariffs which are illegal.”

MORE: Trade war fears rise as countries hit by Trump steel tariffs retaliate