US plans $4bn in tariffs on EU cheese, pork, whiskey over aircraft subsidy

Topics European Union

Illustration by Binay Sinha

The United States on Monday proposed $4 billion in tariffs on a range of European Union products -- including parmesan cheese and Scotch and Irish whiskey -- over subsidies for commercial aircraft.

The list also includes sausages, hams, pasta, olives and many other cheeses including reggiano, provolone, edam and gouda.

"Today, the Office of the US Trade Representative is issuing for public comment a supplemental list of products that could potentially be subject to additional duties," it said in a statement.

The potential tariffs are due to "EU subsidies on large civil aircraft," the statement said.

"This supplemental list adds 89 tariff subheadings with an approximate trade value of $4 billion to the initial list published on April 12, which included tariff subheadings with an approximate trade value of $21 billion," it added.

For more than 14 years, Washington and Brussels have accused each other of unfairly subsidizing aviation giants Boeing and Airbus, respectively, in a tit-for-tat dispute that long predates US President Donald Trump's time in office.

The Boeing-Airbus spat is the longest and most complicated dispute dealt with by the World Trade Organisation, which aims to create a level playing field in global trade.

Trump has made taking aim at what he views as unfair trade practices that disadvantage the US a key goal of his presidency, and tariffs are his favoured tool for doing so.

The latest chapter in the US-EU trade spat comes amid a trade war between Washington and Beijing that has seen the two sides impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.



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