U.S. tariffs proposed in EU trade battle could drive up costs of fish, cheese and other goods

US EU trade battle

A simmering transatlantic trade row risked escalating on Tuesday after the U.S. threatened to impose tariff counter-measures of up to $11.2 billion on a host of European products. The threatened U.S. tariffs are in response to subsidies received by aircraft maker Airbus and target a host of European products including helicopters, aircraft parts and cheese.

The threat from Washington came amid a fragile truce between the EU and the U.S. after President Donald Trump angered Europe last year by slapping duties on steel and aluminum imports and threatening new ones on cars.

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For more than 14 years, Washington and Brussels have accused each other of unfairly subsidising Boeing and Airbus, respectively, in a tit-for-tat dispute that long predates Mr. Trump’s tenure in the White House. The Boeing-Airbus spat is the longest and most complicated dispute dealt with by the WTO, which aims to create a level playing field in global trade.

In a statement Monday, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said the World Trade Organization (WTO) had repeatedly found that European subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States.

This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action,Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

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