US slaps tariffs on Germany and France over Airbus dispute
The US has imposed extra tariffs on goods from Germany and France to put pressure on the EU to settle a dispute over subsidies to Airbus.
From 1 September French and German jams and butchers and mincing knives will carry a 25% duty when sold in the US. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer left the amount of products subject to countermeasures unchanged at $7.5bn and kept tariff rates at 15% for aircraft and 25% for other products.
Sweet biscuits such as shortbread were excluded and the UK's gin industry was taken off a list of potential targets along with some products from Greece. Blended whisky will be spared but single malt Scotch whisky will have them imposed.
The US won a judgment from the World Trade Organization last October over a dispute between Airbus and Boeing over EU subsidies to Airbus that lasted more than 15 years.
“The EU and member states have not taken the actions necessary to come into compliance with WTO decisions,” Lighthizer said. “The United States, however, is committed to obtaining a long-term resolution to this dispute.”
US businesses have asked the Trump administration not to impose the tariffs, which increase the cost of goods sold to consumers, at a time of economic stress.
The EU's trade commissioner Phil Hogan has called on the US to negotiate a settlement to the dispute. He has warned that the result of the row could be higher tariffs on goods flowing both ways in a blow to trade.