EU will fight till 'last moment' to prevent US Airbus tariffs, Latest Business News - The New Paper

EU will fight till 'last moment' to prevent US Airbus tariffs

This article is more than 12 months old

BRUSSELS : The EU's top trade official yesterday said Europe would fight until the very last moment to dissuade the United States from imposing tariffs in retaliation for illegal EU subsidies to Airbus.

European nations are scrambling to prepare a response to US tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of EU goods including cheese and wine that the World Trade Organization formally approved yesterday.

With "still four days to go", European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Brussels had not lost hope that Washington could be persuaded to hold fire.

Earlier this month, a WTO arbitrator gave US the green light to slap tariffs on US$7.5 billion (S$10.3 billion) worth of EU imports, a landmark moment in the 15-year legal battle between Airbus and Boeing.

In the immediate line of fire are civilian aircraft from Britain, France, Germany and Spain - the countries which formed Airbus - which will cost 10 per cent more when imported to the US from Oct 18.

But the tariffs also target consumer products such as French wine, which Mr Trump had vowed to take aim at in recent months. Wine from France, Spain and Germany will now face 25 per cent tariffs.

If those negotiations fail, Brussels will get the chance to impose its own WTO-approved tariffs on US products after convincing WTO judges that Boeing had also benefited from illegal US subsidies. - AFP