The 15-year row with the US over aircraft subsidies for Airbus and Boeing has been threatened to be escalated by the European Union unless a settlement is agreed to by the United States.
There have been accusations posed against each other by the US and the EU of providing state subsidy to support their home aviation markets through tax breaks, grants for research and other forms of financial help.
The United States has refused to agree to moves to settle the dispute, Europe’s trade commissioner said.
This threat from the EU comes at a time when the US has threatened to impose import tariffs on beer, gin and olives from the EU. Contemplation of imposing import duties on 30 products worth $3.1bn in trade every year is being made by the US, Washington said last month. As a part of the dispute, 15% to 25% tariffs on $7.5bn worth of other EU goods have already been imposed by the US.
The tariffs would hit companies on both side of the Atlantic, the EU has warned.
“I want to reassure people that we are ready to act decisively and strongly on the European Union side if we don’t get the type of outcome that we expect from the United States in relationship to finalizing this 15-year-old dispute,” European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan told the European Parliament’s trade committee.
The World Trade Organisation is overseeing the Airbus-Boeing dispute which dates back to 2004. In that case the WTO had allowed the US to impose duties on European goods worth $7.5bn.
The WTO is also set to pass another ruling in September when it is expected to rule on how much worth of US products can the EU impose import duties.
The recent national security investigations launched against EU goods by the US was also criticized by Hogan which has been viewed as further retaliation by the EU.
EU products ranging from transformers and mobile cranes to steel nails are covered in the investigation which has come to be known as the 232 investigations.
“It’s not appreciated the number of 232 investigations that have been launched in recent weeks, perhaps this is political, perhaps it’s more real,” Hogan said. “This is totally unacceptable,” he said. “If these investigations go further the European Union will have to stand together and act as well,” he added.
(Adapted from BBC.com)