US considers new tariffs on European imports

Washington is considering new tariffs on $3.1 billion worth of European imports amid the aircraft subsidy dispute, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

“The US Trade Representative is considering an additional list of products of France, Germany, Spain, and the UK that may be included on a final list of products subject to additional ad valorem duties of up to 100 percent,” Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday citing the office as saying.

“The additional list of products contains 30 tariff subheadings with an approximate value of $3.1 billion in terms of the estimated import trade value for calendar year 2018,” the notice said, inviting the public to submit comments with respect to the additional tariffs on specific products by July 26.

The office said the latest move is part of a review of its action being taken in the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of US WTO (World Trade Organization) rights in the large civil aircraft dispute.

After WTO ruling on aircraft subsidies last year, the US levied additional tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods, which took effect on October 18, 2019, a move that has fueled trade tensions between the two sides.

In February, the office announced that it would increase the additional tariff imposed on aircraft imported from the European Union (EU) to 15 per cent from 10 per cent, effective from March 18.

It also modified the list of European products subject to additional 25 per cent duties.

USTR Robert Lighthizer said at a congressional hearing last week that the US will “continue those tariffs in place” until it resolves the aircraft subsidy dispute with the EU.

But EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan told European trade ministers earlier this month that the US has stepped back from the settlement talks in recent weeks.

The EU had hoped that the WTO would reach a decision this month on how much retaliation the blac can take against the US, but trade officials said that the decision may not come until September, according to the Financial Times.

In 2004, the US filed a case with the WTO, accusing the EU of providing illegal subsidies to Airbus in various forms.

The EU has since filed a similar case over allegedly illegal US subsidies to Boeing.

The WTO has ruled that both the US and EU have provided illegal subsidies for their respective airlines.

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