The Trump administration is proposing tariffs on hundreds of goods worth $11 billion per year to European countries in retaliation for European Union subsidies to Airbus.
The dispute goes back to 2004, when EU authorities said Boeing got $19 billion in unfair subsidies from state and federal governments in the U.S. The United States filed a similar claim that year over European subsidies to Airbus. Both sides received favorable rulings from the WTO.
“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
“When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted,” Lighthizer said.
The proposed tariffs are subject to public consultation in the United States and arbitration at the World Trade Organization.
The list of products considered for additional import duties include helicopters, swordfish steaks and other swordfish meat, yogurt in dry form, certain kinds of lithographs, blue-veined cheese, limes, olive oil, and ski suits.
“The EU remains open for discussions with the U.S., provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said.
The spokesman said the EU could impose its own tariffs in retaliation for the Boeing subsidies.
The Trump administration is also considering tariffs of up to 25% on European vehicle imports, on top of tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports that have already been imposed.
The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq were down in morning trading Tuesday after the news.