The ruling was announced following a long battle of 15 years between the EU and the US concerning illegal subsidies for Airbus plane makers. The ruling is set to impact a variety of goods from helicopters, wine, jumpers, cheese, and olives to name a few.
The US stated it had the authority to increase tariffs at any time and change the list of products affected. Brussels has reacted with threats of retaliation against US goods.
The European Commission commented:
If the US decides to impose WTO authorised countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than do the same.
The EU is currently awaiting a ruling from the WTO to decide on what tariffs the EU can impose on the US with a decision set to be given next year.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US wishes “enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.”
However, EU governments are calling for the dispute to be resolved without the new tax ruling. The UK’s stance on the matter is that,
Resorting to tariffs is not in the interests of the UK, EU or US, we are working closely with the US, EU, and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes.
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury warned that tariffs would impact the economy as a whole including the US and reminded the US that almost 40% of Airbus’s aircraft-related procurement comes from the US which supports 275,000 American jobs.
Airbus is therefore hopeful that the US and the EU will agree to find a negotiated solution before creating serious damage to the aviation industry as well as to trade relations and the global economy, Mr. Faury said.
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