U.S. moves to put tariffs on Countless worth of European Union imports

Blanche Robertson
April 13, 2019

The European Commission (EC), which coordinates trade policy for the 28 member EU, sought clearance for two negotiating mandates.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States would impose tariffs on $11 billion of products from the European Union, a day after USA trade officials proposed a list of EU products to target as part of an ongoing aircraft dispute.

However, the proposal to impose the new US$11 billion round of tariffs is going through arbitration by the WTO, the results of which are expected this summer.

The commission said it is open to discussions with the United States on the matter, CNN reported.

The WTO said previous year it would evaluate a US request to slap billions of dollars worth of sanctions on European products in response to a ruling that the EU had doled out the illegal subsidies to the aircraft giant.

Thursday authorized its negotiators to begin formal trade talks with the United States in the hope of averting a new trade war president Donald Trump appears intent on igniting.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office published late Monday a list of European Union goods it would tax in anticipation of a judgment by the World Trade Organization this summer.

The US Trade Representative has meanwhile proposed targeting a list of US$11 billion worth of EU products for tariffs, ranging from large commercial aircraft to dairy products and wine, as retaliation against European subsidies for Airbus.

United States president Donald Trump is sending a clear message to the economic policymakers gathering in Washington for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's spring meetings: My trade wars aren't finished yet and a weakening global economy will just have to deal with it.

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The World Trade Organization ruled a year ago that the European Union provided illegal subsidies to plane maker Airbus.

"We're still in the same tariff world that we were a year ago", said Wendy Cutler, a former senior U.S. trade negotiator now at the Asia Society. It will soon stop!'

"We've never completed tariffs on planes before", he mentioned.

"They like to impose tariffs", Bown said.

The talks follow a detente reached last July when Trump agreed not to impose duties on imports of European Union cars while the two sides sought to improve economic ties.

Both sides have won partial victories in claiming Airbus and Boeing received unlawful subsidies but disagree on the amount involved and whether each has complied with earlier WTO rulings.

The EU responded with tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros' worth ($3.4 billion) of USA steel, agricultural and other products, from Harley Davidson bikes to orange juice.

Tariffs on airplanes could in theory help Boeing and hurt Airbus, whose shares were down nearly 2.

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