Trump Hits European Union with $7.5B Tariffs in Major Win - EU Chief Begs for Mercy
President says EU treated US 'very badly'
President Donald Trump celebrated a "victory against the EU" after he slapped $7.5 billion worth of crippling tariffs on the European Union.
The green light was given by the World Trade Organization to impose $7.5 billion worth of annual tariffs on EU goods as punishment for illegal aircraft subsidies.
"The US won a $7.5billion award from the World Trade Organisation against the European Union, who has for many years treated the USA very badly on trade due to tariffs, trade barriers, and more. This case going on for years, a nice victory!"
According to US trade officials, the levies would be set at a 10 percent rate for aircraft and 25 percent for agricultural and others.
Washington has targeted Irish and Scotch Whiskies, and another extensive register of goods, imported mainly from France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.
The move comes after the World Trade Organisation sanctioned the tariffs, which will launch from October 18, as part of a 15-year struggle between the US and EU regarding subsidies for plane makers Airbus and Boeing.
US trade chief Robert Lighthizer said in a statement:
“For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our works."
“We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.”
The US had intended to impose tariffs of around $11 billion in goods, but the WTO reduced the figure by around a third.
Lighthizer said he expected to “enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.”
European Commission claimed it hoped to negotiate a settlement in a desperate bid to avoid a full-blown trade war.
A spokesman added:
“But if the US decides to import WTO authorized countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than do the same.”
The U.S. won a $7.5 Billion award from the World Trade Organization against the European Union, who has for many years treated the USA very badly on Trade due to Tariffs, Trade Barriers, and more. This case going on for years, a nice victory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2019
The EU executive has proposed $17 billion worth of tariffs on US goods to the WTO and is awaiting authorization.
EU chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, said, “Trade wars are easy to start but escalate quickly and usually end badly.
“Whoever starts a trade war will end badly in his own camp. Europe will always defend free and fair trade, based on a level-playing field and reciprocity.
“We will not be naive, but we are ready, willing, and determined to do business. If someone is importing tariffs on our aviation sector, we will do exactly the same – exactly the same.”
He urged the business community to persuade Trump to drop the tariffs on EU goods.
“Our continents have been through thick and thin together, through different political cycles,” Mr. Juncker said.
“American-European friendship is not about hopes and dreams. It is a necessity.”
France urged the EU to respond “firmly” against the US if the tariffs come into force.
Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, said:
“A friendly resolution to the Boeing/Airbus dispute is the best solution, and all the more so given that Europe could impose sanctions on the US next year.”
Germany’s Angela Merkel said:
“A decision has been made based on international law through which Airbus will be affected, unfortunately, and we will see how the American will react.”