EU OKs tariffs on US items however hopes for higher Biden relations | United States Information

The EU gives the go-ahead for tariffs on US goods and services amounting to US $ 4 billion under Boeing-Airbus subsidy spitting, but expressed hope for improved trade relations among Biden.

The European Union on Monday pushed ahead with plans to impose tariffs and other penalties on United States goods and services valued at up to $ 4 billion for illegal American assistance to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, but expressed hope that trade relations would ease would improve once President Donald Trump leaves office.

EU trade ministers discussed the move of a video conference after international referees gave the go-ahead to the EU, the world’s largest trade bloc, last month.

A year ago the World Trade Organization authorized the United States to impose fines on EU goods worth up to US $ 7.5 billion – including Gouda cheese, single malt whiskey and French wine – for European support for Boeing rival Airbus .

After Trump also introduced tariffs on steel and aluminum in the EU and threatened punitive tariffs on cars, the Europeans had hoped that he would set the tariffs on fire in connection with the Airbus-Boeing dispute. Having repeatedly failed to negotiate a solution, the EU is now ready to announce its own punishment.

“The US introduced its tariffs following the WTO ruling [the] Airbus case. Now we have a WTO ruling in Boeing that allows us to raise our tariffs, and that is exactly what we are doing, ”Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, told reporters.

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

Europeans are confident that Trump’s tough trading stance will ease under President-elect Joe Biden. Dombrovskis welcomed Biden’s commitment to international alliances, the multilateral system and improving relations with the EU.

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said the bloc had “great expectations” and “hopes that the US presidential elections will also involve a return to multilateral approaches to international trade and that this will be possible . ” to overcome past conflicts ”.

Regarding the tariffs on Boeing, the EU had published a preliminary list indicating that a wide range of US products such as frozen fish and shellfish, dried fruits, tobacco, rum and vodka, handbags, motorcycle parts and tractors could be in demand.

Shortly before the US presidential election on November 3, Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, told The Associated Press that his company was “very satisfied” with the WTO ruling. He lamented the long-standing dispute and that “these stories about the Atlantic are really a loss for everyone”.

Europeans remain reluctant to escalate trade tensions as the coronavirus pandemic ravages economies around the world.

Around 16 million workers on both sides have jobs backed by transatlantic trade, the largest such relationship in the world economy. Even before the pandemic broke out, businesses and people who manufacture and sell a wide range of goods had been hit by tariffs for the past four years.

Boeing itself said last month that it will cut 7,000 more jobs as the virus stifles demand for new aircraft and leaves them at a loss.

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