WTO to approve EU tariffs against US goods over Airbus/Boeing spat

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is today expected to authorise EU tariffs on US products due to unfair subsidies granted

Airbus

Photo: Airbus

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is today expected to authorise EU tariffs on US products due to unfair subsidies granted to Boeing.

The decision follows a similar approval administered to the US in 2019 concerning EU grants to Airbus. The judgement could mark a turning point in the WTO’s longest-running dispute and is likely to have a significant impact on transatlantic trade—the world’s largest commercial relationship. Brussels hopes the ruling will incentivise Washington to end its levies on European goods as neither can afford additional financial turmoil amid a COVID-19-induced economic slump.

The outcome of the US presidential election will determine the trajectory of both the 16-year Airbus-Boeing dispute and the overall commercial relationship between the EU-US. Barring certain protectionist campaign statements, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has made revitalising the transatlantic partnership a top priority. Accordingly, EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis stated that relations with the US would be “easier” under Biden. For his part, President Donald Trump has declared the EU a “foe” due to its commercial practices and its $179 billion trade surplus with the US. If re-elected, expect Trump to target the EU’s all-important auto industry if the bloc implements tariffs against US imports.

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