The ruling comes ahead of the US elections, where Washington hit the EU with $7.5bn in goods over subsidies for European rival Airbus, according to media reports.
The European Union can impose retaliatory tariffs on goods from the United States totalling $4bn USD for subsidies provided to US aerospace firm Boeing Co, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Officials in Washington and Brussels were informed of the decision on Friday, with the award set to be published in a few weeks. The 16-year-long trade row at the WTO has involved numerous plane makers in the world’s largest corporate dispute.
According to a Boeing spokesperson cited in the report, Airbus had ignored its decision to cancel tax cuts in Washington state to resolve the dispute.
Boeing aircraft not formally adopted by the WTO were ‘unlikely’ to be hit by EU tariffs before 3 November, when US voters are set to choose the next US president, sources from both sides of the dispute added as quoted by Reuters.
Despite US sources stating their $7.5bn in core tariffs favoured Boeing, EU sources said that their award excludes roughly $4.2bn in tariffs against the US from a previous case, totalling $8.2bn in penalties.
The news comes just weeks after the WTO ruled that the US had violated trade rules with massive tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018 as part of US president Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with Beijing, with the organisation demanding that the US conform tariffs to WTO rules as a member of the body.
Washington slapped over $200bn in tariffs on Chinese goods amid the trade war. Both sides are expected to abide by Phase One agreements inked in 2019, despite ties falling to historical lows after Trump accused Beijing of causing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese government has routinely and strongly criticised the accusations as false, in addition to denying US claims that it had abused trade agreements.
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