Trump to hit EU with new tariffs after WTO ruling

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President Trump will impose 25 percent tariffs on certain European Union agricultural exports and 10 percent tariffs on European-brand aircraft on Oct. 18, the White House announced Wednesday.

The tariffs on crucial European exports follow a Wednesday decision by a World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator to allow the U.S. to impose tariffs on up $7.5 billion in European goods.

“For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the U.S. aerospace industry and our workers. Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

“We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue in a way that will benefit American workers.”

The new 25-percent tariffs will cover a slew of popular and iconic European food products, such as wine, cheese, olives, Irish and Scotch whiskies, pork and cookies. The tariffs also apply to a wide array of clothing, tools, machines and other industrial products imported from Europe.

The WTO decision settles a case brought before the trade regulator by the U.S. in 2004, alleging that the EU gave illegal subsidies to Airbus, the largest European aerospace company.

A WTO panel ruled in favor of the U.S. in 2011, and an arbitrator on Wednesday authorized Trump to respond with $7.5 billion in tariffs on European goods as retribution. 

Trump will not levy tariffs on the full $7.5 billion he’s allowed to target, according to a senior administration official. But the pending tariffs still threaten to drag down a contracting European economy and escalate Trump’s trade battle with the EU.

The president is also considering tariffs of up to 25 percent on foreign automobiles and auto parts, which experts say could be devastating for Europe.

Top EU officials have pledged to retaliate with their own tariffs on U.S. products.

Updated at 5:06 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Robert Lighthizer

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