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Separate reports suggest that the United States is poised to win its long-running trade dispute with EU countries over alleged subsidies for Airbus.
If confirmed, Washington will be allowed to hit the EU with billions in tariffs on several European exports.
The European Union has its own similar case underway, accusing the U.S. of illegally aiding Boeing.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is set to back a U.S. request to impose tariffs on billions of dollars of European goods, potentially sparking a new trade war across the Atlantic, several media reports suggest.
Arbitrators from the WTO are meeting at 10.am. local time in Geneva on Monday to finalize a 15-year-old case brought by the United States. The U.S. seeks compensation for what they say are illegal subsidies granted to the plane maker Airbus by European governments.
Washington has said it wants to impose tariffs of up to 100% on European exports to the U.S. with an annual trade value of around $11.2 billion a year.
Reuters, quoting sources, reported Thursday that the United States government won’t get to that figure but will win the right to impose tariffs on EU goods worth around $7.5 billion annually.
The United States has already drawn up a wide-ranging list of European goods which it says it will select from, once the WTO determines an appropriate amount.
Aside from European-built aircraft and parts, goods on the list included motorcycles, food, drink, clothes, base metal parts and equipment to make jewelry.
The EU has its own separate case before the WTO, in which it argues that the U.S. plane maker Boeing receives unfair financial assistance from the U.S. federal government. That ruling from arbitrators in Switzerland is estimated to be about nine months away.
In April this year, the European Commission launched a public consultation on its preliminary list of products from the United States that it would seek to hit with import tariffs.
The list, representing about $20 billion worth of U.S. exports to the EU, also covered a wide range of items including aircraft, chemicals and food products such as frozen fish and citrus fruit.
Quote:The US has been given the go-ahead to impose tariffs on $7.5bn (£6.1bn) of goods it imports from the EU.
It is the latest chapter in a 15-year battle between the US and the EU over illegal subsidies for planemakers Airbus and rival Boeing.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling will mean tariffs on EU goods ranging from aircraft to cheese, olives and jumpers from 18 October.Brussels has threatened to retaliate similarly against US goods.
US trade officials said the tariffs would be set at a 10% rate on aircraft and 25% on agricultural and other items. They have published a list of all the items that will be subject to the additional tariffs, most of which will apply to imports from France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
The US said it had the authority to increase the tariffs "at any time" or change the products affected.
Meanwhile, the two sides are waiting for the WTO to decide on what tariffs the EU can impose against the US in retaliation for US state aid given to Boeing. That ruling is expected next year.
The European Commission, which has proposed tariffs on $20bn (£15bn) of US goods, said it hopes to reach a settlement. "But 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 European Commission said.
The US first filed the case in 2004, arguing that cheap European loans for Airbus amounted to illegal state subsidies. The WTO decided in favour of the US, which subsequently complained that the EU and certain member countries were not in compliance with the decision, prompting years of further wrangling.
The US had sought to impose tariffs on about $11bn in goods. Though the WTO cut that figure to $7.5bn, Wednesday's decision still marks the largest penalty of its kind in the organisation's history. The WTO's dispute settlement body must formally adopt the ruling but is not expected to overturn the decision.
These tariffs are separate to US President Donald Trump's ongoing trade disputes with countries around the world. Those were sparked in March 2018 when his administration announced tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imported into the US. It prompted the EU to impose €2.8bn (£2.4bn) of duties on US goods such as bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice last June.
Mr Trump is also considering raising import duties on European cars.
(10-04-2019, 09:27 AM)AmirPatriot Wrote: I don't think we could call it a trade war yet, since Europe is too scared to hit back in any meaningful way... But there is certainly a bit of back and forth. Nice to see Trump undermining US alliances.