EU’s €20bn hit list of potential US tariffs

The European Commission has drawn up a list of US imports worth around €20bn that it could hit with tariffs over a transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute, EU diplomats said.

US President Donald Trump this week threatened to impose US tariffs on $11bn (€9.8bn) worth of EU products over what Washington sees as unfair subsidies given to European planemaker Airbus.

The EU measures would relate to the EU’s World Trade Organisation complaint over subsidies to Boeing. A WTO adjudicator has still to set a final amount of potential countermeasures.

The commission said earlier this week that it had begun preparatory work on countermeasures in the Boeing case, adding that it was open for discussions with the US, provided these were without preconditions and aimed at achieving a fair outcome.

EU diplomats said the commission was expected to publish a list of products on April 17 and begin a process of public consultation, after which the list could then be adjusted.

The final amount decided by the WTO arbitrator could also be lower. 

The EU had also initially requested that the WTO authorise countermeasures of $12bn.

The arbitrator’s decision may not come before March next year.

The US and Europe have been locked in a dispute over mutual claims of illegal aid to their respective plane giants.

The case has been grinding through the WTO for almost 15 years, yielding partial victories for both sides.


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