The World Trade Organization ruled Tuesday that the European Union can impose tariffs worth $4 billion a year on a list of U.S. goods, including Boeing jets sold in Europe.
The result parallels an earlier ruling against the EU allowing U.S. tariffs that for the past year have increased the price of many European products sold here, including Airbus jets.
The ruling raises the possibility that, just as Boeing scrambles to ramp up 737 MAX jet deliveries early next year, the EU could slap a 15% tariff on MAXs delivered to Ryanair and other European airlines.
It’s unlikely the European Commission will impose the authorized tariffs before the U.S. presidential election. After that, the ruling may spur transatlantic negotiations to try to reach a settlement of the 16-year-long dispute over government subsidies to airplane manufacturers.
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