German wines and coffee slapped with USA tariffs

Washington announced it would put a 10 percent tariff on large civil aircraft imported from the four European partners of Airbus - Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom - after Wednesday's World Trade Organization (WTO) decision that ruled the company received undue subsidies.

Meanwhile, aeroplanes and aeroplane parts made in Europe will be subject to tariffs of 10%.

The European Commission said it would retaliate if the United States imposed any targeted sanction - and warned that a move to do so would be "short-sighted and counterproductive".

The affected products include cheese, whiskey, cherries, cherry juice, pear juice, olives, olive oil, wine and pork.

European officials said Friday they hope to engage the U.S.in talks on the new tariffs it has imposed on the EU, but are ready to respond with taxes on American goods if needed.

"Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU's illegal subsidies".

"If the American administration refuses to accept the hand extended by France and the European Union, we are ready to respond with sanctions approved within the WTO framework", Le Maire said.

In the immediate line of fire are civilian aircraft from Britain, France, Germany and Spain - the countries which formed Airbus - which will cost 10 percent more when imported to the U.S. from October 18.

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The United States said on Wednesday it expected the European Union to enter negotiations but stressed it also had authority to increase the tariffs or alter the products affected. The value of cheese exports to the U.S. grew by 20pc previous year'.

Of this, about 33 per cent is citrus from Spain worth, US$23m, and 61 per cent is kiwifruit from Italy.

Barring a settlement or an end to seven years of argument over whether Europe has complied with earlier WTO findings - neither of which looks imminent, according to trade sources - tariffs could start to bite as Britain plans to leave the EU.

The Us president, when He spoke of the decision during a press conference for "a major victory for the United States, but announced no duties against the EU".

Washington has requested the WTO meet October 14 to formally authorize the tariffs, and the duties would then take effect October 18, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.

"With the continued possibility of a no-deal Brexit on October 31st and the associated shock to Irish exporters, we are particularly concerned by United States threats to place tariffs on important Irish exports such as Irish Whiskey or agricultural goods". The WTO has also found in the past that the Airbus rival, Boeing, has also received illegal subsidies.

"If the American administration rejects the hand that has been held out by France and the European Union, we are preparing ourselves to react with sanctions", M Le Maire said in a statement. "The imposition of tariffs will also disproportionately hit smaller, craft distillers - threatening businesses and jobs", Callan said while encouraging the Irish government to lower excise taxes and provide targeted funding to support Irish producers in the upcoming budget.

The European Commission has dangled the prospect of limiting its public subsidies to the USA administration in an attempt to avoid further tariffs from Washington that could come as early as next month in the context of the Airbus-Boeing dispute.

  • Darren Santiago