EU ready to impose punitive tariffs on US products. The EU is considering punitive tariffs on US imports because of the illegal subsidies for the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Vice-President Dombrovskis announced: “We are ready to do that at any time.”
EU ready to impose punitive tariffs on US products
The EU does not want to unilaterally forego further punitive tariffs in the subsidy dispute for the aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. “We are ready to do that at any time,” said Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis before virtual consultations with EU trade ministers. But even after the US election, they are still open to a negotiated solution.
According to the dpa news agency, the trade ministers have already agreed to impose punitive tariffs on US imports. The EU will not wait to see whether future US President Joe Biden will change course in American trade policy, Dombrovskis said. The World Trade Organization (WTO) now has a decision that allows the EU to impose punitive tariffs, said Dombrovskis. That is what you do now. A confirmation for this decision has not yet been received.
There is also hope in Europe that trade policy could change under US President-elect Joe Biden. Incumbent Donald Trump had instigated several large trade disputes with tariffs. The European proposal, as Dombrovskis had said before the switch, was for both sides to suspend their tariffs. But the USA must also take action on its part. It was only in mid-October that the EU therefore agreed to waive billions in punitive tariffs for the time being.
Does Germany take its time with customs duties?
In the controversy over state aid for Boeing and Airbus, which has been simmering for 16 years, the EU is allowed to impose new punitive tariffs on US goods after a decision by the World Trade Organization – with a volume of four billion dollars. Conversely, in 2019 the WTO had already allowed the USA to impose punitive tariffs on EU goods.
Both sides accuse themselves of illegally supporting their respective aircraft manufacturer and thereby giving it a competitive advantage. According to a “Bloomberg” report, Germany is considering taking its time to introduce the new tariffs.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier had emphasized that morning that Germany was striving for a better trade policy with the USA – and called for a new industrial agreement between the EU and the USA. However, a “longer and difficult process” for the transfer of power in Washington can be expected.
Biden is linked to the hope that the USA will become more involved internationally and that it will be possible to overcome conflicts. Altmaier cited the special tariffs in the steel and aluminum sectors as well as a WTO reform that was in its deepest crisis since 1995. However, Biden had also made a name for himself in the election campaign with a protectionist stance.