WASHINGTON — The World Trade Organization on Tuesday gave the European Union permission to impose tariffs on $4 billion worth of American products annually in retaliation for illegal subsidies given to U.S. plane maker Boeing, a move that could result in levies on American airplanes, agricultural products and other goods.
The decision, which stems from a 16-year fight before the global trade body, follows a parallel case that the United States brought against Europe over subsidies to its largest plane maker, Airbus. Last year, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on European planes, wine, cheese and other products after the W.T.O. gave the United States permission to retaliate on up to $7.5 billion of European exports annually.
It remains to be seen whether the new tariffs will ultimately persuade the United States and Europe to come to a negotiated settlement that would lift the levies, or merely inflame relations and result in higher costs on businesses and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. The European Union has repeatedly appealed to the United States to remove its tariffs, but American officials say Europe has not taken the necessary actions to stop its Airbus subsidies.
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