July 2, 2020, 15:56

US Rolls Out $4 Billion Tariff Threat on EU Goods Over Boeing-Airbus Squabble – Report

US Rolls Out $4 Billion Tariff Threat on EU Goods Over Boeing-Airbus Squabble – Report

Washington is seeking to retaliate against the EU over what it claims are illegal subsidies to European plane maker Airbus, while the EU notes that Washington subsidizes Boeing through numerous methods, including tax breaks. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), both sides have their hands dirty.

The US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) published on Monday a list of EU goods that could see US tariffs as a result of the ongoing Boeing-Airbus tiff, Bloomberg report says. 

The goods on the list are thought to be worth approximately $4 billion and include diverse products such as berries, meat, cheese, olives, pasta, Scotch whiskey, metals and cast-iron tubes and pipes. There are 89 sub-categories in the list, according to Reuters. 

This is the newest addition to a larger list worth $21 billion that the US announced in April.

According to the USTR, the EU subsidizes European plane maker Airbus, costing the US approximately $11 billion in annual economic harm. The WTO probe uncovered that EU subsidies violate international trade rules, although the organization also ruled that the US engages in similar subsidies, roughly a third of which are illegal, according to France 24.

The WTO is expected to announce within months a ruling over how many countermeasures the US can impose on the EU, Bloomberg report says.

“The final list will take into account the report of the WTO Arbitrator on the appropriate level of countermeasures to be authorized by the WTO,” USTR said Monday.

Both Boeing and the US aerospace trade group last month urged the Trump administration to tailor tariffs on the EU to avoid harming US manufacturers. The US Distilled Spirits Council also condemned the latest tariff threats and warned that they would negatively impact US jobs and hurt consumers, the Reuters report noted.

The trade dispute between the two major airframe makers began in 2004, when Washington accused the UK, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to Airbus. In 2005, the EU fired back, observing that Boeing had received $19.1 of prohibited subsidies from the US government between 1989-2006, according to France24.

Earlier this year, the WTO ruled that the US had failed to remove all of its prohibited subsidies.

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