EU going ahead with Boeing tariffs against US

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union (EU) said yesterday it is pushing ahead with up to USD4 billion in tariffs against the United States (US) over illegal state aid to Boeing, the bloc’s top trade official said.

“The US has imposed tariffs following the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling in the Airbus case. Now, we have a WTO ruling also in our Boeing case, allowing us to impose our tariffs and that’s what we are doing,” EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, told reporters.

The decision was the latest twist in the 16-year trade battle over aircraft subsidies that turned increasingly sour under the protectionist instincts of US President Donald Trump, who is to leave office in January.

Some had suggested that Europe might delay the tit-for-tat levies after the election of Joe Biden, seen as more sympathetic to the EU and more of a multilateralist. He will take office in January.

Instead, Dombrovskis urged Washington to pursue a comprehensive deal on aviation subsidies worldwide and to bring the row to a close.

“As it has been stated on numbers of occasions from the EU side, we’re ready to suspend or withdraw our tariffs anytime when the US suspends or withdraws their tariffs,” Dombrovskis said.

The former Latvian prime minister spoke ahead of a meeting of EU trade ministers that was to discuss how Europeans can better face up to challenges from both the US and China.

A Boeing 737 Max jet takes off on a test flight from Boeing Field in Seattle. PHOTO: AP