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The trade battle intensifies … New US tariffs on European products

The United States announced the imposition of additional tariffs on French and German products on Wednesday, against the backdrop of a long-running dispute over support for the European aircraft industry giants “Airbus” (AIRBUS) and the American “Boeing” (BOEING).

The US trade representative said in a statement that the new duties will include “French and German aircraft manufacturing parts” and types of wines and alcoholic beverages that will be added to the list of products from the two European countries that have been imposed additional fees since 2019.

In his statement, the US official considered that this step comes in response to the unfair imposition of the European Union on US products.

This decision is the latest in the trade battle raging between the two parties for 16 years due to mutual accusations of supporting the aircraft industry outside the framework of legal rules, and then fueled under the protectionist policy pursued by President Donald Trump.

The decision also comes despite hopes for a trade truce after Joe Biden won the presidential elections.

The World Trade Organization this year authorized the European Union to impose additional customs duties on American products.

But Washington believes that it has been punished by the method used to calculate the fees, which according to the Trump administration has led to the excessive imposition of European duties on American products.

“In implementing the imposition of its customs duties (…) the European Union used commercial data dating back to a period in which the volume of trade decreased significantly due to the terrible effects of Covid-19 on the global economy,” the trade representative’s statement added.

“The result was that Europe imposed far more customs duties on products than would have been in the case of using another normal period data. Although the United States made clear to the European Union the distorting effect of this specific time period, the Union refused to change its approach,” he said.

As a result, he noted, the United States found itself “compelled to change the period it uses as a reference for the same commercial period that the European Union used.”

The aviation dispute far predates Trump’s arrival at the White House, but Washington seized the opportunity to impose $ 7.5 billion in tariffs on European products after receiving WTO approval last year.

Last March, Washington imposed punitive duties of 25% on famous European Union products such as wine, cheese and olive oil, and 15% on Airbus planes.

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