The European Union will place tariffs of up to $4 billion on U.S. products, including agricultural products, in retaliation for subsidies to Boeing aircraft.
“The countermeasures bring the EU equal footing with the U.S., with sizeable tariffs on each side based on two WTO decisions related to aircraft subsidies,” the European Commission said in a news release today.
“They include additional tariffs of 15% on aircraft as well as additional tariffs of 25% on a range of agricultural and industrial products imported from the U.S., thereby strictly mirroring the countermeasures imposed by the United States in the context of the WTO case on subsidies to Airbus.”
The commission said the tariffs would go into effect immediately but did not appear to release the exact products on which the tariffs will be placed. The spirits industries on both sides of the Atlantic have said they fear more tariffs on their products.
Dow Jones quoted the president of the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council, Chris Swonger, stating the new tariffs "will be a major blow" to the spirits industry, "especially craft distillers who are struggling to regain their footing following the closings of distillery tasting rooms, restaurants and bars due to COVID-19." Whiskey exports to the EU have already declined by 41% due to the bloc's retaliation over Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018, Dow Jones cited.
The tit-for-tat between the U.S. and EU has gone on for awhile. In October 2019, the U.S. imposed tariffs on up to $7.5 billion in European products because of a WTO ruling over how the EU provides subsidies for Airbus.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he was disappointed in the EU action.
“The alleged subsidy to Boeing was repealed seven months ago. The EU has long proclaimed its commitment to following WTO rules, but today's announcement shows they do so only when convenient to them.”
-European Commission — Boeing WTO case: The EU puts in place countermeasures against U.S. exports https://ec.europa.eu/…
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at email@example.com
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