Trump says he'll put tariffs on $11B in European Union goods

10 April, 2019, 00:44 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • Trump threatens to tariff EU cheese wine helicopters over Airbus subsidies

The U.S. says the WTO repeatedly has found that EU subsidies to European aircraft maker Airbus have caused "adverse effects" to the U.S., chiefly to Boeing Co., the American airplane manufacturer.

The US Administration threatened with imposing tariffs on $11 billion of USA imports of goods from the EU. "It will soon stop!"

The Trump administration announced the additional levies on EU goods - including roquefort and stilton cheese, wine and aircraft parts - as a response to subsidies for Airbus, the European aerospace and defence group, which it said were harmful to the US.

The statement added that the final amount it would seek in duties was subject to arbitration at the WTO, the result of which was expected in the summer.

The WTO, in a decision last May, ruled the European countries had given $22 billion in state aid to Airbus to help build its A380 and A350 jets, damaging its USA rival, Boeing.

Some EU members, led by France, are already skeptical of the value of negotiations with the USA, which were agreed to last July in a bid by the EU to avoid auto tariffs Trump has threatened.

"This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

"Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the European Union to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft".

The World Trade Organization ruled a year ago that the European Union provided illegal subsidies to plane maker Airbus. The United States is a major market for Volkswagen, Mercedes maker Daimler and BMW.

The EU placed retaliatory levies on €2.8 billion worth of USA goods, including bourbon whiskey, motorcycles, jeans and orange juice.

The president gave no timetable for the move, which comes amid an escalating trade row after the USA initially threatened the tariffs on Monday in response to subsidies received by aircraft maker Airbus.

The Trump administration has been fighting trade battles on many fronts.

Trump in June past year imposed tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on imported aluminum from the EU.

The U.S. announcement also comes as China's prime minister meets top European Union officials to discuss thorny issues, including trade.

The EU fired back on Tuesday, saying the amounts claimed by the USA were "greatly exaggerated..."

The U.S. attempt to tax Airbus jets comes just as Boeing is facing broad challenges over the global grounding of its 737 Max airliners amid concerns that technical problems could have contributed to two crashes in five months.

'Boeing has consistently supported USA compliance with WTO rulings.

"The Commission is starting preparations so that the European Union can promptly take action based on the arbitrator's decision on retaliation rights in this (Boeing) case", a Commission spokesman said, according to Reuters.


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