WTO Votes to Approve Trump’s Next Tariffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Arbitrators at the World Trade Organization (WTO) recently ruled that the United States may impose tariffs on European goods in retaliation for the European Union's subsidies for Airbus, but the WTO has now formally approved the tariffs that Trump will almost certainly impose on Friday.

More specifically, the WTO has formally voted to authorize $7.5 billion in tariffs that Trump intends to impose this week.

The WTO’s dispute settlement body, made up of representatives from its 164 members, cleared Washington to take countermeasures against the European Union and Airbus-producing countries Britain, France, Germany and Spain. [...]

U.S. trade ambassador Dennis Shea told the meeting that Washington still preferred a negotiated solution.

“But that can only happen if the EU genuinely terminates the benefits to Airbus from current subsidies and ensures that subsidies to Airbus cannot be revived under another name or another mechanism,” he told the meeting.

Ambassador Shea told members of the WTO's settlement body that the Trump regime prefers a "negotiated solution" but, as you can see, what they're asking for is not something the EU will give them.

The European Union is not going to unilaterally eliminate their subsidies for Airbus because the WTO has also ruled that the United States illegally subsidizes Boeing. If they did, it would put Airbus at a competitive disadvantage and that would obviously be an economic and political liability.

The EU's top trade official has continued to call on the Trump regime to negotiate, but there's not much time left to even talk about talking. There's not currently -- as of this writing -- any reason to think Trump won't impose these tariffs on Friday of this week.

I cannot necessarily fault the World Trade Organization for Trump's actions, but I'm sure this is will be just the beginning of a wider conflict. The European Union will retaliate for Trump's tariffs and Trump will throw a hissy fit when they do. Trump will claim the EU has no right to retaliate and he may escalate from there with even more tariffs beyond what the WTO has authorized.

  • muselet

    Dennis Shea clearly believes in Donald Trump’s definition of negotiation: the other party gives up everything, and Trump gets everything.

    Previous administrations quietly and diplomatically chose to ignore the Airbus subsidies, both because the US subsidizes Boeing and because the EU is an ally. If Trump sticks around much longer, the US won’t have any friends or allies in the world.


    • Hey, he’s winning – for Putin. Just like BoJo. Everything financial is done for the rich oligarchs, and everything political for Putin. Those are the only ones who are ‘winning’, until the “let’s bring the world to the brink of war for our own gain” turns into “oops, a little too far” as they look around at the rubble that’s all that’s left of the human race.