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US slaps more tariffs on EU goods over long-running trade dispute

Kumutha Ramanathan
·Contributor
·2-min read
Aviation subsidies have been a main source of concern amid the long-running trade dispute between the US and the EU. Photo: Getty
Aviation subsidies have been a main source of concern amid the long-running trade dispute between the US and the EU. Photo: Getty

The Trump administration has imposed additional tariffs on products from the European Union (EU) as part of a long-running dispute over trade subsidies, including aviation subsidies for Airbus (AIR.DE) and Boeing (BA).

Airbus (AIR.DE) shares closed lower 1.9% while trading on Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) on Wednesday, prior to the holiday closure for the index.

Airbus shares closed lower on Wednesday. Chart: Yahoo Finance
Airbus shares closed lower on Wednesday. Chart: Yahoo Finance

The tensions between the trading blocks comes as the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) argued that the EU had unfairly calculated tariffs against the US following a World Trade Organisation ruling earlier this year that resulted in tariffs on US imports, amounting to roughly $4bn (£2.9bn) a year, in retaliation for aircraft subsidies.

On Wednesday, the USTR said it was changing some of its tariffs because the EU had used a time period that affected “substantially more products than would have been covered” and that the US “needs to take some measure to compensate for this unfairness.”

The USTR accused the EU of refusing to “change its approach.” The newly targeted items include aircraft-manufacturing parts, some types of non-sparkling wine, as well as certain cognac and other grape brandies from France and Germany, it said.

READ MORE: European markets open lower on last day of 2020 as dollar dips on investor confidence

In a notice in the Federal Register, the USTR said the overall value of goods being hit remains $7.5bn, after adjusting the time period in its sanctions to match the EU’s. It did not mention when the tariffs would take effect, other than to say additional details were “forthcoming.”

This is just the latest news as tensions rise between the two trading partners since US president Donald Trump entered the White House and enforced his America First policy approach. US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and his European Commission counterpart, Valdis Dombrovskis, have both expressed interest in negotiating a settlement and have been speaking for weeks, but this latest spate over additional tariffs could be a sign that the current administration is losing interest in an amicable resolution.

A year prior to the WTO ruling, the US sanctioned about $7.5bn in imports from the EU, including French wine and Scotch whisky.

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