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US proposes tariffs on another US$4b of European Union goods
[WASHINGTON] The US added more products from the European Union (EU) to a list of goods it could hit with retaliatory tariffs in a long-running trans-Atlantic subsidy dispute between Boeing Co and Airbus SE. Stock futures fell after the announcement.
The US Trade Representative's (USTR) office on Monday published a list of US$4 billion worth of EU goods the US could hit with duties as retaliation for European aircraft subsides. The products range from cherries to meat, cheese, olives and pasta, along with some types of whiskey and cast-iron tubes and pipes. It adds to a list of EU products valued at US$21 billion that the USTR published in April, according to the release.
The latest targets were identified following a two-day hearing in Washington in May when 40 stakeholders made their cases about the countermeasures. The USTR said a public hearing on the proposed additional US$4 billion worth of products will be held Aug 5.
The USTR estimates the EU subsidies to Airbus cause about US$11 billion in economic harm to the US annually. The World Trade Organization has found the EU subsidies violate international trade rules and it's expected to decide this summer on the amount of countermeasures the US can impose.
"The final list will take into account the report of the WTO Arbitrator on the appropriate level of countermeasures to be authorised by the WTO," USTR said on Monday.
While senior EU officials expect the US to move forward with retaliation once the WTO authorises it, the imposition of the proposed tariffs would threaten to further strain ties as the US and EU try to sit down to negotiate a trade deal.
US industry groups were quick to oppose the tariffs. "US companies - from farmers, to suppliers to retailers - are already being negatively impacted by the imposition of retaliatory tariffs by key trading partners on certain US distilled spirits resulting from other trade disputes," the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said in a statement after USTR's announcement.
The EU has its own pending WTO case against Boeing. The EU in April published its preliminary list of US goods being targeted in a US$12 billion plan for retaliatory tariffs over subsidies to Boeing, with a focus on farm products from areas that help form US President Donald Trump's political base. Other items in the wide-ranging target list included ketchup, nuts, video game consoles and bicycle pedals.