US to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods

Consumer goods from the European Union are to be hit with new US tariffs following a decision by The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday.

The WTO gave the United States the green light to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods annually, in a dispute with EU aircraft subsidies.

The decision will see the likes of Scottish and Irish whisky, Spanish wine and French cheese, among other European goods, subject to 25 per cent tariffs which will take effect from October 18.

“Dairy products are going to be directly hit … we are going to fight for these measures to be delayed,” said Michel Nalet, spokesman of Lactalis group who produces the President brand.

The WTO announcement follows a 15-year battle over EU subsidies for Airbus.

“For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our workers,”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

“Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies.”

The US Trade Representative’s office said that it would still re-evaluate the tariffs upon discussing with EU. But it could lift the tariffs “at any time, or change the products affected.”

The global trade watchdog will meet with the Dispute Settlement Body on October 14 to formally apply the trade decision.


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