Europe Prepares Countermeasures for US Customs
The United States made an announcement that it will impose new customs duties on goods from the European Union. They take effect in 2 weeks. French wines, Scotch whiskey, Italian cheeses and many other goods will be subject to a 25% duty. Countermeasures are already being prepared in Europe.
Italians are among the hard affected because much of their food will be taxed by the new United States customs.
The United States will impose duties after the World Trade Organization has ruled that the European Union is creating unfair competition with subsidies from the air giant Airbus.
“As a totally unrelated sector, it is unacceptable for the spirits producers having to pay the price for a dispute that is essentially about civil aircraft subsidies,” Ulrich Adam, director general of Europe’s largest spirits lobby said in a statement released Thursday. “It is particularly irritating to see that unrelated sectors like ours will be hit by an extra 25 percent tariffs when the sector at stake will only be imposed a 10 percent rate!”
“We remain of the view that even if the United States obtains authorization from the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, opting for applying countermeasures now would be shortsighted and counterproductive,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s top trade official said in a statement, quoted by The Washington Post.
The World Trade Organization is allowing Washington to levy $ 7.5 billion in customs duties on goods. This is far from the end of the story. The European Union is suing Americans for the same - subsidies from the Boeing giant. The decision is pending soon and will probably be the same, but against Washington. Europe is now ready with a list of US goods on which it will impose duties. Experts say the big loser of such a war is the consumer to whom the traders will shift the burden.
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