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05 July 2018, 12:00 | Kelvin Horton
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Some U.S. companies have already been pressured to take action.
The Dow Jones was 0.7% down as it opened for the first trading day of the second half of the year.
Technology shares rose, boosted by Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, which all increased by 1 per cent or more.
The European Commission sent written comments to the US Commerce Department on Friday warning that as much as $294 billion worth of US goods could be affected by countermeasures if the Trump administration goes ahead with tariffs on imported cars and vehicle parts.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the USA investigation into the possibility of auto tariffs "lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates global trade rules", just like last month's US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Meanwhile, Canada retaliated against U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing retaliatory duties on $12.6 billion in American goods starting Sunday.
They pointed out that escalating tariff threats and the potential of trade wars with US trading partners, including with some of the country's most important allies, create uncertainty that will be felt by Americans across the country and by businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. But he denied reports he plans to pull out of the WTO.
The new 25 percent import tax, which takes effect on July 6th, will drastically increase the price of circuit boards and other components built in China. It won't target 284 additions, worth $16 billion, until it gathers further public comments.
In the European Commission's written response to the Trump administration's investigations into vehicle and auto part imports, it warns that the effect on USA exports could be huge, with 19 per cent of US exports hit.
The number of exports that could be hit by retaliatory tariffs among the 10 most vulnerable states ranges from $1.7 billion in Pennsylvania to $6.2 billion in Washington.
According to the U.S.
The Australian dollar slumped almost 1 per cent overnight to a low of 73.1 as the greenback rose and amid ongoing trade tension.
Barring a last-minute breakthrough, the Trump administration on Friday will start imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell 55 cents to $78.68 in London. The contract lost $1.93 to close at $77.30 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar ticked up to 110.76 yen from 110.74 yen in late trading Friday.
German factory growth slipped to an 18-month low and French manufacturing activity slowed more than previously thought in June to its weakest pace in almost 1-1/2 years.