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Serving: United States

EU, U.S. trade dispute escalates

TAGS: Trade
nevodka/ThinkstockPhotos dairy products on wooden table
Tariffs include 25% tariff on a range of U.S. agricultural and industrial products.

Trade relations between the U.S. and European Union continue to sour as the EU imposed tariffs worth $4 billion on U.S. exports.

The tariffs include an additional 15% fee on aircraft as well as additional fees of 25% on a range of agricultural and industrial products imported from the U.S.

The tariffs are part of a long-running dispute between the two nations regarding subsidies to aircraft makers. On Oct. 26, the World Trade Organization ruled the EU could impose tariffs. On about $4 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation for subsidies granted to Boeing, Business Insider reported.

"We have made clear all along that we want to settle this long-running issue," said Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president for An Economy that Works for People and trade commissioner, in a statement. "Regrettably, due to lack of progress with the U.S., we had no other choice but to impose these countermeasures."

The National Milk Producers Federation took issue with the tariffs.

“Europe has long wielded restrictive and unjustified trade tactics to limit fair competition from U.S. agriculture, including dairy exports," said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. "While Europe may be authorized to retaliate, the U.S. has already taken deliberate action to address the WTO decision. Meanwhile, Europe has failed to come into compliance with their WTO obligations."

The EU sees things differently.

"We call on the U.S. to agree to both sides dropping existing countermeasures with immediate effect, so we can quickly put this behind us," Dombrovskis said. "Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides, especially with the pandemic wreaking havoc on our economies."

Mulhern disagrees, saying the U.S. is holding the EU accountable to its WTO obligations.

"U.S. retaliatory tariffs against EU dairy products continue to play a key role in bringing Europe to the negotiating table and compelling them to fulfill their trade commitments," he said. "The EU’s restrictive trade policies that have resulted in a one-way flow of agriculture trade, and in particular dairy trade, to Europe is something that both the current and future administrations need to keep in mind. In fact, the trade deficit between the EU and U.S. continues to widen as the EU uses unjustified trade tactics to erode U.S. market access and limit fair competition."

The EU appears to be looking ahead to a change in the occupant of the White House.

Dombrovskis said, "We now have an opportunity to reboot our transatlantic cooperation and work together towards our shared goals."

The tariffs reciprocate and mirror U.S. measures, according to China.org.cn.

Read the EU statement here. It includes a history of the case.
Read the NMPF statement here.
The European Union and U.S. wine associations are calling for the authorities to end their dispute. Read their statement.
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