Trade

WTO Approves EU Tariffs On American Goods

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump increased his tariffs on European goods ranging from mustard to cheese and wine to luxury handbags earlier this year because the World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected the European Union's appeal of Trump's original tariffs.

The WTO has now given the EU approval to impose tariffs on American goods in response to subsidies for Boeing.

Officials in Brussels previously said they would act on the levies immediately to counteract $7.5 billion of import taxes Washington placed on European goods after winning a judgment in a separate WTO case involving Toulouse, France-based Airbus.

The EU is aiming its tariffs at coal producers, farmers and fisheries, in addition to aircraft makers — all politically important industries for President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. [...]

If the EU triggers the new tariffs next month, it could provoke the Trump administration, which claims it has already brought its Boeing subsidies into compliance with WTO rules.

It could be easily forgotten, but this story predates the Trump regime by more than a decade and it's ridiculous that he ever turned it into another trade war to begin with.

The American government first filed a complaint against Airbus under the George W. Administration. The Obama administration continued to make the case that Airbus had been illegally subsidized, but President Obama never escalated it into a trade war because the European Union had an equally valid case to make against American subsidies for Airbus competitor Boeing.

The Trump regime says they've brought subsidies for Boeing into compliance, but the European Union says the same thing about Airbus. The original offenses in either case happened so long ago it doesn't even matter, but Trump has turned this into a personal war with Europe and democratic values.

We subsidize virtually every industry through corporate tax cuts and special breaks so the idea that we have a valid complaint against any other country is preposterous.

The European Union should wait until after the presidential election to pull the trigger because if Biden is elected our trade wars driven by personal animus rather than economics will end.

  • muselet

    This is WTO (appropriately) telling the US and EU they’re both in the wrong, and to go sit on the naughty step and stop bothering the grown-ups.

    A sane administration would have taken the not-so-very-subtle hint months ago that this was the way WTO would rule, but Donald Trump chose instead to ramp up a trade war.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    From the rest of the world’s perspective, they should act in their own interests and punish the US for its ridiculous actions. Maybe it might make a future Republican administration think twice, or maybe, just think for once before acting like jackasses. We cannot become a nation that unilaterally goes back on every agreement when the political winds shift. It’s not good for us, or the rest of the world.

    • Scopedog

      I agree with everything you said here.

      Of course, it’s also on us to make sure that there isn’t a future GOP administration for the next few decades. That means making sure that we show up to vote, reject any and all GOP candidates as well as the spoilers from the idiot Left whose only goal, it seems is to punish Democrats for not being pure enough and allow the GOP to come in and skullfuck the country.