EXCLUSIVE-EU targets $3.5 bln of U.S. imports for trade retaliation - sources

BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) - The European Union is considering applying 25 percent tariffs on around $3.5 billion of imports from the United States if President Donald Trump carries out his plan to apply global duties to steel and aluminum, EU sources say.

The European Commission has said it would respond "firmly" to proposed U.S. import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

It has spelt out it would join others in a challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and consider safeguard measures, last deployed in 2002, to guard against steel and aluminum being diverted to Europe from elsewhere if U.S. tariffs come in.

A further counter-measure under consideration would specifically target the United States to "rebalance" trade between the two, EU sources say. ($1 = 0.8118 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)