Europe may impose tariffs on the US in a long air battle


“Airbus has not started this WTO dispute and we do not want to continue harming the customers and suppliers of the aviation industry and all other affected sectors,” said Guillaume Faury, the company’s chief executive, in a statement. “The time has come to find a solution so that tariffs can be removed on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Boeing said it was “disappointed” that Airbus and the European Union were applying tariffs even after the tax credit was lifted, but the company hopes the two will focus “on bona fide efforts to resolve this long-standing dispute.” The European Union has asked the WTO to authorize more than $ 8.5 billion in annual customs duties, while the United States has stated that it should not exceed $ 412 million.

In a statement, US sales representative Robert E. Lighthizer said the European Union had no valid grounds for imposing tariffs because Washington had already lifted the tax break and that the US would seek further negotiations with Europe.

“Any imposition of tariffs based on a measure that has been eliminated is clearly against WTO rules and will force a US response,” he said. “The United States is determined to find a solution to this dispute over the huge subsidies that European governments have provided to Airbus and the damage done to US aviation workers and companies.”

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Trade Commissioner, said in a statement that although the decision allowed the European Union to impose tariffs on US products, it would have done so “reluctantly”.

“I have partnered with my US counterpart, Ambassador Lighthizer, and I hope the US will now lift the tariffs on EU exports last year,” he said. “If this does not happen, we will have to exercise our rights and impose similar tariffs.”

Ole Moehr, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Geoeconomics Center, said there will likely be more trade barriers in the short term than before, but the ruling could ultimately “open the door to a transatlantic trade détente”.

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