FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo


European Union officials announced plans to implement tariffs on roughly $4 billion worth of U.S. goods starting Tuesday. The tariffs are in retaliation to illegal U.S. aid to Boeing and will affect aircraft-related parts, alcohol products and other general goods such as handbags, union commissioners said. The World Trade Organization ruled in 2019 that Boeing had been the beneficiary of “an illegal U.S. tax concession that supports exports” setting the precedent for retaliatory tariffs.

The union decided to hold off on the tariffs until after the election after the World Trade Organization ruled that tariffs were warranted in this case. This development comes after similar sanctioned tariffs were levied on Airbus SE by the U.S. in October of 2019. That $7.5 billion tariff was the largest arbitration awarded in the history of the organization. “We have made clear that we want to settle this long-running issue, Valdis Dombrovskis, European commissioner for trade, said in a tweet. “Regrettably, in spite of our best efforts, we are taking this action due to lack of progress from the U.S.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued a warning last month that  tariffs of any kind would “force a U.S. response” to “strike back harder.” EU spokesman and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier stated that a Joe Biden presidency would renew hopes for improved trade talks. “We will try to get a new start in trade policy between the United States and all member states,” Altmaier said. 

Germany, the largest economic power in the EU, is reportedly considering delaying the tariffs on U.S. goods in an effort to ease escalating trade tensions during a transition of power in the U.S. The issue will be raised at Monday’s EU’s trade meeting where Germany is expected to push for de-escalation. 

Germany Considers Delaying a $4 Billion Tariff Strike on the U.S.” – Bloomberg


EU imposes tariffs on $4bn of US goods in Boeing row – BBC News – 11/9/2020
The taxes on some imports from the US into the EU, which got the go-ahead from the World Trade Organization last month, will go into effect on Tuesday. The EU said it still hoped to settle the fight, which saw the US impose tariffs on European products last year. A trade official said Joe Biden’s election could help “reboot” talks.

EU moves ahead with tariffs on $4B of US goods over Boeing subsidies – Fox Business – 11/9/2020
After Trump also imposed tariffs on EU steel and aluminum and threatened punitive duties on cars, the Europeans had hoped that he would hold fire on the tariffs related to the Airbus-Boeing dispute. But having repeatedly failed to achieve a negotiated solution, the EU is now ready to announce punishment of its own.

E.U. imposes $4 billion in tariffs on U.S. products, prolonging Trump trade war despite Biden victory – Washington Post – 11/9/2020
E.U. trade ministers who approved the measures took pains Monday to say that they did not intend the tariffs to be seen as escalatory and that they hoped both Washington and the European Union could remove them as soon as possible. But the decision — which takes effect Tuesday — could still inspire retaliation from the lame-duck Trump administration and may force Biden to confront the dispute early in his tenure.

Boeing Jets, Other U.S. Goods Worth $4 Billion Face EU Tariffs – Wall Street Journal – 11/9/2020
The tariffs will come into effect on Tuesday, EU officials said. The measures will include a 15% tariff on imports of all Boeing models, which will account for around 44% of the $4 billion in levies, an EU official said. Other goods, including some agricultural products, processed agricultural products and industrial products, will be hit with a 25% tariff.


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