The EU forced Donald Trump to back down on his threat to impose trade tariffs on steel and aluminium.
Brussels said it would impose its own trade tariffs on American products if President Trump did not grant an exemption for the EU on his steel and aluminium tariffs.
Award-winning economist Professor Stiglitz revealed the EU perfectly targeted Washington by opting to threaten tariffs for iconic brands that would resonate with regular American citizens.
Professor Stiglitz told CNBC: “You target where it hurts the most.
“When the US threatened steel tariffs against the EU, the EU came back in a very focused way and says Harley Davidson, bourbon and jeans.
“Now you say, why in the world they pick those three commodities, they’re not the most important commodities.
“Well Harley Davidson – Wisconsin – Paul Ryan, bourbon – Mitch McConnell and jeans – Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco.”
President Trump’s long-threatened package of trade sanctions on China has been rolled out.
He slapped on nearly $50billion on Chinese imports, accusing Beijing of intellectual property theft.
However, Professor Stiglitz believes Beijing could use the same tactics as Brussels to avoid them.
He added: “That’s the way the trade game is played and China has, I’m quite sure, a very good economic map with which they will target certain places in the United States where pain will be maximised.”
China’s vice-premier Liu He told US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Beijing was “ready to defend its national interests” but hoped “both sides will remain rational and work together”.
President Trump’s tariff threats have already provoked a response from China, who have rolled out $3billion in additional tariffs on US products, ranging from fruit, nuts, wine and pork.
Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said: “We sell a lot of pork to China, so higher tariffs on our exports going there will harm our producers and undermine the rural economy.”