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India finalized its decision during a week when the global trade war escalated, with the United States enacting $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and the European Union imposing $3 billion in levies on such products as US -made bourbon, peanut butter and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

European Union countries retaliatory trade tariffs on a list of U.S. products, agreed in response to United States tariff hikes on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico, will come into force on Friday, the European Commission announced on Wednesday.

The 28-nation EU was first expected to do so only next month but EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said they would introduce "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' ($3.4 billion) worth of USA products this week.

"The rules of global trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, can not be violated without a reaction from our side", Ms Malmstrom said.

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Its duties target goods worth $3.3bn (£2.5bn) after the United States imposed tariffs on the bloc's steel and aluminium. Europeans claim it is simply protectionism and breaks global trade rules.

Reuters reported that Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, said the Trump administration's trade policies will in the end be counterproductive for American interests.

"The rules of worldwide trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, can not be violated without a reaction from our side", she said.

China may need to adopt a "hard-line approach" targeting US firms listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, if President Donald Trump keeps up with his trade threat antics, the paper reported.

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India had sought to be exempt from the new USA tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing its exports were small in comparison to other countries, but got nowhere.

The tariffs come as the USA squares off with China. European steel producers are concerned about a loss of market access but also that steel from elsewhere will flood in.

The European Union will roll out a range of retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday, targeting items such as American blue jeans, bourbon and motorbikes. The EU does not rely on the U.S.as a market for its steel exports as much as Canada or Mexico, which are also being hit by the USA tariffs and stand to lose more.

Other countries hit by the United States tariffs have also retaliated, raising fears of a global trade war.

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Trump has also imposed tariffs on other trade partners as well, slapping another 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods last week.

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