EU advances plan to slap tariffs on US goods over Boeing aid



The European Union is pressing ahead with plans to impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal American support for plane maker Boeing

BRUSSELS — The European Union pressed ahead Monday with plans to impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal American support for plane maker Boeing.

EU trade ministers were discussing the move at a videoconference, after international arbitrators last month gave the world’s biggest trade bloc the green light to do so.

It comes a year after the World Trade Organization authorized the United States to slap penalties on EU goods worth up to $7.5 billion — including Gouda cheese, single-malt whiskey and French wine — over European support for Boeing rival Airbus.

“The U.S. has imposed their tariffs following the WTO ruling in (the) Airbus case, now we have a WTO ruling also in Boeing, allowing us to impose our tariffs, and that’s what we are doing,” EU Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters.

“Of course, we remain open for a negotiated solution. Our proposal remains on the table that both sides withdraw their tariffs,” Dombrovskis said, but he noted that despite several appeals “so far, the U.S. has not agreed to withdraw their tariffs.”

The Europeans are hopeful that the tough trade stance of President Donald Trump will soften under President-elect Joe Biden. Dombrovskis welcomed Biden’s past commitment to international alliances, the multilateral system and to improving ties with the EU.

In terms of tariffs over Boeing, the EU released last month a preliminary list that suggests it could go after a wide range of U.S. products including frozen fish and shellfish, dried fruit, tobacco, rum and vodka, handbags, motorcycle parts and tractors.



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