US to impose tariffs on EU goods in light of WTO win

WASHINGTON, The US announced Wednesday that it will begin applying World Trade Organization (WTO) “approved tariffs” on certain EU goods beginning October 18.

This comes as the US won today the “largest arbitration award in WTO history” of USD 7.5 billion in its dispute with the European Union (EU) over “illegal subsidies” to Airbus.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said in a statement “for years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our workers.” He added “finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies.” “Accordingly, the United States will begin applying WTO-approved tariffs on certain EU goods beginning October 18,” he announced.

He indicated that the US is expected “to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.” According to the statement, the US has requested that the WTO schedule a meeting on October 14 “to approve a US request for authorization to take countermeasures against the EU.” It indicated that tariffs will be applied to a range of imports from EU Member States, “with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom – the four countries responsible for the illegal subsidies.” It noted “at this time the tariff increases will be limited to 10 percent on large civil aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural and other products.” The US has the “authority to increase the tariffs at any time or change the products affected,” the statement added.

For his part, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House “that was a big win for the United States ? we are having a lot of wins with WTO since I became president.” “The WTO has been much better to us since I have been president because they understand they can’t get away with what they’ve been getting away with for so many years which is ripping off the United States,” he stressed.

Source: Kuwait News Agency