Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

EU targets $12bn tariffs on US over Boeing subsidies

The EU retaliation plan, unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels, follows a US threat to seek $11bn in damages through duties on European goods

The EU has unveiled retaliatory tariff plan in response to what it says are unfair Boeing subsidies. Reuters
The EU has unveiled retaliatory tariff plan in response to what it says are unfair Boeing subsidies. Reuters

The European Union published its preliminary list of US goods being targeted in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory tariffs over subsidies to Boeing.

The European Commission began a public consultation over the American products ranging from video-game consoles to ketchup, Bloomberg reported. The World Trade Organisation will ultimately decide the level of damages the EU can seek, with a verdict possible toward the end of this year or in early 2020.

The EU retaliation plan, unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels, follows a US threat to seek $11bn in damages through duties on European goods ranging from helicopters to cheeses to counter state aid to Airbus. Both moves stem from parallel, 14-year-old, disputes at the WTO over market-distorting support for aircraft makers.

"European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms ... We must continue to defend a level-playing field for our industry," AFP reported said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom as saying.

Crosscurrents are rippling through transatlantic trade ties, as the EU and US prepare for negotiations on removing industrial tariffs. The two sides are engaging in renewed sparring over aircraft aid and President Donald Trump’s “America First” protectionism, especially his controversial duties on foreign steel and aluminium based on national-security grounds and a threat he has kept alive to apply automotive levies on the same basis.

EU imports of the goods on the preliminary retaliation list in the Boeing dispute have a total value of around $20bn and the bloc would eventually apply duties on some or all of the products once the WTO sets the damages limit, according to officials.

So far, the EU has applied tit-for-tat tariffs on €2.8bn (Dh11.62bn) of American goods in response to Mr Trump’s metal duties and threatened to hit a further €20bn of US products with levies should Washington restrict automotive imports.

Updated: June 17, 2019 07:41 PM

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