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.