Saturday

4th Feb 2023

US threatens extra trade tariffs, as EU talks top jobs

  • Trade clash comes as EU leaders focus on top jobs (Photo: dawvon)

The US has listed 89 more European products that could be hit with tariffs in an old dispute on aircraft subsidies.

But the trade clash comes as EU leaders focus on top jobs instead of international affairs, with French president Emmanuel Macron, for one, issuing a warning on the dangers of navel gazing in troubled times.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • "We give an image of a Europe that is not serious," French president Emmanuel Macron said (Photo: Consilium)

The US trade department said on Monday (1 July) it might slap 100 percent tariffs on $4bn (€3.5bn) of EU goods in retaliation for European subsidies to aircraft maker Airbus.

The list included several types of cheese, such as edam, gouda, gruyere, and blue-veined cheese.

It also mentioned Irish and Scottish whiskies, coffee, pasta, pork products, olives, cherries, pears, and peaches, as well as fertilisers, iron tubes, and copper rods, among other products.

The new list came on top of one in April on products worth $21bn.

The US trade department said it would take its final decision on how to proceed following public consultations with American firms in August.

The "final list" will also "take into account the report of the WTO [World Trade Organisation] arbitrator" on the issue, it added.

The WTO in Geneva has been wrestling with EU and US allegations and counter-allegations for the past 15 years that both sides were giving illegal bumps to their top aviation firms, Airbus and Boeing.

It said that both were guilty in a preliminary ruling in March.

The EU has also prepared a list of potential tariffs on €17.4bn of US imports, including coal, wine, and video games.

US-EU talks at the Paris Air Show last month gave hope they would settle the matter amicably.

But the dispute risks being caught up in a wider trade conflict after the US imposed tariffs on some EU metals exports and threatened to penalise EU cars.

The protectionist "America first" policy of US president Donald Trump saw the EU hit back with tariffs on US products, including bourbon.

"US companies - from farmers to suppliers to retailers - are already being negatively impacted by the imposition of retaliatory tariffs. Additional tariffs will only inflict further harm," the Distilled Spirits Council, a US trade lobby, said in reaction to Washington's latest WTO move on Monday.

"We strongly oppose the inclusion of distilled products in the proposed retaliation list ... Additional tariffs will only inflict further harm," it said.

The economic violence comes amid US-EU disputes on Iran nuclear arms, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Nato spending, Russian gas, and climate change in a nadir in post-World War Two transatlantic relations.

But when EU leaders meet at 11AM in Brussels on Tuesday on the third day of a rolling summit none of that will be on the agenda.

They will instead continue to bang heads over whose candidates should fill top posts in the EU institutions for the next five years.

And the French leader, Emmanuel Macron, pointed out the dangers of the EU's inward turn.

"We cannot hold talks with world leaders, in an ever more violent world, and be a club that meets at 28 without ever deciding anything," he told press while leaving the summit venue in Brussels on Monday.

"Our credibility is profoundly tainted with meetings that are too long and that yield nothing. We give an image of a Europe that is not serious", he said.

"What was lacking around the table was the spirit and determination to defend the general European interest. There were too many hidden agendas," he added.

Opinion

EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights

Behind the smiles and handshakes, the signature of the EU-Vietnam trade and investment deals agreed on Tuesday and to be signed this week have dire consequences for human well-being and our ability to prevent climate and ecological breakdown.

Trump keeps EU leaders waiting on tariffs

European leaders postponed their reaction to US announcement that the EU would be exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminium. "The devil is often in the details", said the Belgian PM.

Germany hopes for quick EU-US trade deal

Merkel wants an US-EU trade deal as soon as possible, she said, amid potential US tariffs on the car industry, a vital German sector in hard times.

EU hesitates to back France over US tariff threat

France has passed a new tax on tech companies that will affect US global giants like Facebook. Donald Trump has threatened retaliatory tariffs over it. The EU commission says it will "coordinate closely with French" on the next steps.

US to put tariffs on European whiskies, cheese

After a 15-year legal battle, the US was given the green light to impose tariffs on EU products. The EU is threatening countermeasures but wants to negotiate. Transatlantic ties have suffered another blow.

Opinion

More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies

Industrial energy-intense sectors, outside Germany and France, will not move to the US. They will go bust, as they cannot compete in a fragmented single market. So to save industry in two member states, we will kill the rest?

Latest News

  1. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  2. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  3. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  4. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  5. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  6. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  7. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  8. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us