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    US mulls punitive taxes on new batch of European goods

    The United States announced on Monday that it was considering new duties on selected European goods in retaliation for what Washington claims are abusive subsidies for EU aircraft manufacturers.

    The list of goods to be targeted by the punitive tariffs comprises 90 items, including Gouda and blue cheese, Irish whiskies and certain pork products, representing a total market value of four billion dollars.

    They will be added to a previous list published on 12 April and valued 21 billion dollars, according to a press release from the office of US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.

    The aim of the move is to “enforce U.S. rights in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute against the European Union and certain EU member States regarding EU subsidies on large aircraft,” the USTR office said.

    The main target of the measure is Airbus, which has a 14-year conflict with U.S. manufacturer Boeing. The US and the EU accuse each other at the WTO of illegally subsidising their respective flagship aeronautic industries.

    The U.S. position is supported by Boeing, weakened by problems with its star plane, the 737 MAX, indefinitely grounded after two fatal air disasters.

    However, any punitive tariffs the U.S. might wish to impose in this area would be subject to a decision by an arbitrator designated by the WTO.

    Monday’s announcement by the Trump regime comes just two days after a truce in the trade war between Washington and Beijing, following a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times