Trade

Trump Threatens to Open a New Front in His Trade War

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's trade representative recommend that he impose additional tariffs on the European Union (EU) seemingly out of nowhere yesterday evening.

The reason? Because the EU subsidizes Airbus, Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer says.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative on Monday proposed a list of European Union products ranging from large commercial aircraft and parts to dairy products and wine on which to slap tariffs as retaliation for European aircraft subsidies. [...]

“Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in the statement.

There's a lot going on here.

First of all, if you've been following along, you know that the Trump regime has been openly contemptuous toward the World Trade Organization (WTO). Although the United States has always won far more cases than it loses at the WTO, the Trump regime has called the WTO illegitimate and refused to appoint new judges to vacant seats on the WTO's review board.

For the Trump regime to approvingly-cite the WTO to justify imposing tariffs on the EU is laughable.

Second of all, we subsidize a great many things in the United States including Airbus's closest competitor Boeing. Republicans passed the mother of all subsidies a little more than a year ago when they cut corporate taxes by $1.5 trillion. Many American companies pay no taxes at all and some of those that don't still receive a check in the mail.

If Trump is going to open this new front in his global trade war, we can expect to see it in July or August after the list of products they will impose tariffs on is finalized. And the European Union will retaliate, of course.


  • katanahamon

    I want to go off topic momentarily..I read several more measles stories today, and want to bring up yet another overlooked reason to eradicate this disease. The measles virus has capabilities no other virus has..not Ebola, not SARS, RSV etc. A person infected can cough in a room, leave, and hours later that room can still infect other people. Now, listening to the anti vaxxers, you’d think this is an uncomfortable, almost humorous childhood rite of passage..”let’s all take our kids to an infection party,”… Well, let’s for just one god damned second think, using our little brain cells.

    Every time a virus infects another host, it has a chance to mutate. What if this incredible power to infect gets passed on to E Coli, or the flu, or one of those passes something to the measles virus, and before you know it, it’s “bring out your dead,” and we can forget about humanity’s future. Measles is one of the very few things we could actually eradicate..so why don’t we, before something really bad happens?

  • katanahamon

    Jeez..Rump actually said today that child separation was President Obama and that he was the one to stop it. O..m…g…! Can’t we impeach just for the lies? I mean…come on!!

    • Draxiar

      2×4 + trumps head = Happy Draxiar

  • muselet

    Of course.There needed to be a new distraction from the Mueller Report, the instruction for the Department of the Treasury to release six years of Donald Trump’s taxes and all the rest of the madness consuming the administration. This will do nicely.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    It’s complicated because Airbus was determined to yes, actually have received subsidies, but on the other hand, so has Boeing through all these other various means. So, we then have an incompetent moron child (Rump) attempting to put his hands on the controls of the economy again. It’s like allowing a toddler the controls of well, an Airbus in flight. Makes just as much sense….