Despite a last-minute plea by Airbus, the United States is introducing a 10 percent tariff on new aircraft heavier than 30 tonnes imported from Europe from 18 October.
The U.S. says it has imposed these levies as a countermeasure for the billions of dollars in “illegal subsidies” that European countries have paid for years to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
It was announced on Wednesday that the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the green light to the U.S. authorities to impose $ 7.5 billion in import duties on European products. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has now announced which products will be submitted to such tariffs: in addition to the 10% levy on commercial aircraft heavier than 30 tonnes (which includes the entire Airbus product line), a 25% levy applies to other European products, such as Irish and Scottish whiskies, German machines and cheese.
The USTR states that the levies imposed mainly concern imported products from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom: the countries responsible for illegal subsidies to Airbus. It is clear that this is what triggered the new measures.
Europe is expected to introduce import duties on U.S. products in the near future, as a countermeasure to illegal subsidies that Boeing has received for years. The WTO will take a decision in this case at the start of 2020.
Of course, the tariff will not apply to Airbus A320 production line in Mobile, Alabama, and to the A220 is produced in Canada and in Mobile.