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U.S. threatens new duties on EU products over Airbus subsidies

By Darryl Coote
The United States is considering putting new duties on 14 pages of EU products in response to Europe subsidizing Airbus. Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA-EFE
The United States is considering putting new duties on 14 pages of EU products in response to Europe subsidizing Airbus. Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA-EFE

April 9 (UPI) -- The United States threatened to increase tariffs on a slew of European products in retaliation for the EU giving subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement that the World Trade Organization has repeatedly found that subsidies the EU gives to Airbus "have caused adverse effects to the United States."

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In response, the United States began Monday to identify EU products that additional duties could be applied to until the Airbus subsidies are removed, the U.S. Trade Representative office said.

"This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action," U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer said. "The administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures."

He said the United States' ultimate goal is to "reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft."

The list of products under consideration for additional duties spans 14 pages and contains civil aviation products as well as an assortment of other products that range from wine and carpets to ski-suits and cheese.

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Once the WTO arbitrator issues its final report on the U.S countermeasures, the final product list will be decided, the statement said.

"When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted," Lighthizer said.

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