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US prepares to slap $7.5bn worth of WTO-sanctioned countermeasures on the EU


US prepares to slap $7.5bn worth of WTO-sanctioned countermeasures on the EU

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Photo: Reuters

US tariffs worth $7.5 billion against European goods are set to be imposed today, following the World Trade Organization’s formal approval on Monday.

The sanctions are in response to EU subsidies to European aerospace company Airbus. Washington deemed the subsidies unfair, claiming they hindered the sales of Airbus’ US competitor, Boeing, thus violating WTO rules.

France, Spain, Germany and the UK, all members of the consortium in charge of the construction of Airbus airplanes, will be hit the hardest. Tariffs are expected to span aircraft, wine, olives, clothes, scotch whisky and cheese, among others.

Such measures will make the affected products more expensive for American consumers, while the EU has—through French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire—vowed to retaliate against the sanctions. In the new year, expect the EU to persuade judges at the WTO to allow for the retaliatory sanctions following the adjudication of a parallel case involving Boeing’s receipt of similar US government subsidies.

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