The European Union will slap US products with a series of retaliatory tariffs from Friday, it confirmed this morning.

The European Commission said it would start charging import duties of 25 per cent on products including bourbon, jeans and motorbikes, in response to the US decision to impose tariffs on EU steel and aluminium at the start of the month.

The action could tip the US into another trade war, alongside the one threatened by its stand-off against China over a separate set of measures aimed against Beijing's intellectual property infractions.

The Commission has formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on E2.8bn (£2.46bn) worth of US goods.

Separately it is also pursuing the case with the World Trade Organisation, arguing that the White House's reasons for the tariffs – that the glut of steel and aluminium poses a security threat – are not valid.