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U.S. Tariffs on EU Goods Kicked in on Friday
USAgNet - 10/22/2019

U.S. duties on a portion of $7.5 billion in European products kicked in on Friday, a retaliatory move approved by the World Trade Organization over EU nations' subsidies for aerospace company Airbus. POLITICO reports that the bloc's outgoing trade chief, Cecilia Malmström, said in a statement that the move "leaves us no alternative but to follow through in due course with our own tariffs" stemming from another ongoing WTO case regarding U.S. support for Boeing.

Certain dairy goods, wines, pork products and spirits made in Europe now face duties. In a letter to Lighthizer, a coalition of international alcohol industry groups called on the U.S. to take down the tariffs, warning that "there are no winners in a trade war."

"Our industries are collateral damage in trade disputes that have nothing to do with the beverage alcohol sector," the groups said in a statement, noting that U.S. whiskey exports to Europe have fallen by about 21 percent since Brussels slapped a 25 percent tariff on the alcohol in June 2018.

France is also pressing the Trump administration to negotiate a settlement, according to POLITICO.

"There is clearly a risk of escalation, and that's exactly what we want to avoid," French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters at the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings last week in Washington.

Le Maire said the U.S. hasn't yet initiated duties on the full list of $7.5 billion in products, reports Pro Trade's Adam Behsudi. He said the tariffs imposed on Friday target about $1.8 billion in European goods.

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