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From squid to bicycle parts: EU hits back at US tariffs with its own $20bn US imports list

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
The European flag and the flag of the United States of Americas seen in Dublin centre. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto

The European Commission just issued a list of $20bn (£15.4bn) worth of US imports that could be impacted by tariffs amid the furious row between the US and bloc over transatlantic aircraft subsidies.

The list includes a wide-range of goods that the Commission is proposing to be hit by tariffs — from squid and fish, to planes, helicopters, and bicycle parts.

”European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms. The recent WTO ruling on U.S. subsidies for Boeing is important in this respect. We must continue to defend a level-playing field for our industry,” said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

“But let me be clear, we do not want a tit-for-tat. While we need to be ready with countermeasures in case there is no other way out, I still believe that dialogue is what should prevail between important partners such as the EU and the U.S., including in bringing an end to this long-standing dispute. The EU remains open for discussions with the U.S., provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome.”

The move is in retaliation in a long-running battle between the US and EU around European aircraft subsidies, in which the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said that the subsidies have an adverse impact on the US.

On April 9, the US floated the idea of slapping tariffs on $11bn worth of products from the EU. Those proposed US tariffs would be imposed in addition to existing levies on European products.

The fight began in 2018 when the US started slapping tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminium from a number of countries, including the EU. The 28-nation bloc responded by imposing levies on €2.8bn worth of US goods in June later that year. In March this year, Trump threatened more tariffs on the bloc’s goods, including that on cars imported from the EU.