WASHINGTON – The Trump administration recently proposed an additional $4 billion in tariffs on imports from the European Union (EU) including a variety of pork products and other items. The tariffs are in retaliation for EU subsidies to Airbus, an aerospace corporation with headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands. The EU, meanwhile, contends the US is giving subsidies to Chicago-based Boeing.
The 89 items on the supplemental list come in addition to an initial list published April 12 with an approximate trade value of $21 billion. The US is awaiting approval from the World Trade Organization (WTO) before imposing tariffs on items on the initial list. Items on the supplemental list are subject to the public comment process.
“The WTO has found repeatedly that EU subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States. USTR estimates the EU subsidies cause approximately $11 billion of harm in trade to the United States per year,” according to the USTR. “The amount of countermeasures the United States is authorized to impose is currently subject to arbitration at the WTO, the result of which is expected to be issued this summer.”
The US brought a WTO challenge to the EU’s “launch aid” to Airbus in 2004. In 2011, according to the USTR, the WTO found that Airbus had received $18 billion in subsidies from 1968 to 2006. The EU removed some minor subsidies but left the majority intact.
In 2012, the US requested a WTO compliance panel to address the remaining EU subsidies. “That process came to a close with the issuance of an appellate report in May 2018 finding that EU subsidies to high-value, twin-aisle aircraft have caused serious prejudice to US interests,” the USTR explained. “The report found that billions of dollars in launch aid to the A350 XWB and A380 cause significant lost sales to Boeing 787 and 747 aircraft, as well as lost market share for Boeing very large aircraft in the EU, Australia, China, Korea, Singapore, and UAE markets.”