US raises tariffs on French & German wines and aircraft parts over ‘unfair’ Airbus subsidies

Citing the ‘unfairness’ of European Union subsidies to Airbus and tariffs imposed on US-based Boeing products, the US Trade Representative’s office said it would raise dues on certain French and German wines and spirits.

The increased tariff will apply to imported cognacs, brandies and “certain non-sparkling wines,” as well as “aircraft-related parts,” Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). 

The USTR did not specify the rate of the new tariff or when it would take effect, saying only that additional details will be “forthcoming.”

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Washington has been accusing the European Union of unfairly calculating tariffs against the US-made Boeing aircraft and equipment, under a September ruling by the World Trade Organization. 

“The EU needs to take some measure to compensate for this unfairness,” the USTR said on Wednesday.

Boeing and Airbus have been embroiled in a dispute over subsidies that’s been going on for 16 years and shows no sign of resolution.

A tariff hike on aircraft parts produced in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain was proposed back in July, along with various food imports. Additional duties of up to 100 percent were contemplated against a range of goods including chocolate, coffee, and olives, and alcoholic beverages such as beer, gin, and vodka. The plans were met by protests from trade associations.

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