Trump’s Tariff Obsession: EU Vows Sanctions Against US Tariffs on European Wine & Cheese

Written by | Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

The United States has scored a “nice victory” against the European Union, US President Donald Trump said yesterday (3 October) when announcing the decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to give a green light to his country to place tariffs on EU goods in a row over EU aircraft subsidies. As European countries in Airbus consortium – UK, France, Spain and Germany – face punitive measures from US in an escalating trade war, Trump tweeted that the EU “has for many years treated the USA very badly on Trade due to Tariffs, Trade Barriers, and more. This case going on for years, a nice victory!”
WTO’s decision to allow the US to impose tariffs on $7.5bn worth of EU goods annually in the long-running case infuriated Scottish whisky makers, French cheese makers and Spanish winemakers as the US tariffs targeted products from countries in the Airbus consortium – which includes the Germany, France, UK, France and Spain. Following 15 years of litigation, Washington now announced that Airbus planes would be hit with a 10 percent import tax, 25 percent duties would be imposed on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese from across the continent.
German engineers are now concerned that the row over subsidies granted to the European aircraft maker was leading to “a table tennis match” over transatlantic tariffs, as French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned on Thursday (3 October) that the EU would respond “with sanctions” if the United States rejects talks over the Airbus trade dispute. Meanwhile, the Scottish Whisky Association already said Scotch whisky exports to the US, the industry’s biggest single market, and the associated jobs and investment were at risk from the US sanctions against single-malt whiskies. Also Spanish winemakers said their wine would cost too much in US stores if tariffs were implemented. Spanish olives, British woolens, and German-made equipment and coffee would also be affected, along with cheese from nearly every EU country.

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