BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Monday it would impose tariffs on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal aid for plane maker Boeing — but expressed hope that trade ties would improve once President Donald Trump leaves office.
European trade ministers agreed on the move a few weeks after international arbitrators gave the EU the green light for such punitive action. The World Trade Organization had deemed illegal some U.S. support for Boeing — which is a bitter rival to Europe’s Airbus — and said the EU could make up for that with a limited amount of penalties on U.S. trade.
“Regrettably, in spite of our best efforts due to the lack of progress from (the) U.S. side, we can confirm that the European Union will later today exercise our rights and impose counter-measures awarded to us by the WTO,” EU Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said. The tariffs will enter force on Tuesday.
The WTO had ruled that Boeing was given an unfair edge over Airbus by tax breaks from Washington state, where Boeing once had headquarters. But after the WTO decision, the state repealed the tax breaks, making the EU’s complaint obsolete in the view of U.S. officials.
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