EU ‘regrets’ new US tariffs, looks to Biden

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union (EU) regretted a new wave of United States (US) tariffs on French and German products that came into force yesterday and said it would seek a trade truce with the incoming Biden administration.

The tariffs are yet another chapter in a 16-year spat over subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing that turned increasingly sour under US President Donald Trump.

French exporters were hit with hiked tariffs some goods, while Germany saw new levies on aeronautic parts.

“The Commission takes note of today’s entry into force of US tariffs arising from the WTO Airbus case on aircraft subsidies,” a statement said.

The EU executive handles trade matters for the bloc’s 27 member states.

“As we have made clear before, we regret that the United States chose to add further EU products to its retaliation list,” it said.

The EU is “looking forward to engage constructively with the new US administration to resolve this long lasting dispute as part of a renewed transatlantic agenda”, it added.

French exporters believe the new tariffs will cost them one billion euros in sales.

In its last days in office, the Trump administration is blowing hot and cold on trade issues with the Europeans. Washington last week suspended a plan to impose new tariffs on USD1.3 billion in French products in a dispute over a digital services tax.