Ketchup, vodka, game consoles – EU punitive tariffs on US products in force

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Boing
Foto: dpa
That happened quickly: Less than a day after the announcement, tariffs are now in place on a whole range of US products. The trigger is unauthorized US subsidies for aircraft manufacturer Boeing. As of Tuesday, the European Union is demanding new punitive tariffs on imports of numerous goods from the USA. The special charges approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO) for illegal subsidies for the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing are due on food and beverages such as tomato ketchup, nuts, rum and vodka. The affected products also include video game consoles, tractors, shovel loaders and airplanes. The punitive tariff on aircraft is 15 percent, and that on all other products is 25 percent. The EU announced the additional levies on Monday. The background to this is that the World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator decided in mid-October that the EU may impose punitive tariffs on US imports amounting to almost four billion dollars (3.4 billion euros) a year because of illegal subsidies for Boeing.

In a similar case, arbitrators had approved the USA for illegal subsidies for the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus punitive tariffs on products from the EU amounting to 7.5 billion dollars. The USA then introduced special taxes on products from the EU. In addition to airplanes, wine from Germany and France, Parmesan from Italy and olive oil from Spain are also affected. The EU hopes that future US President Joe Biden will now agree to serious talks about a settlement of the dispute over subsidies for the aviation industry that has been going on for years. Under US President Donald Trump, there was no rapprochement until recently.

Trump had also introduced special US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, to which the EU responded with retaliatory tariffs on US products such as jeans, bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and peanut butter. The trade dispute is annoying for consumers, as special tariffs can lead to price increases for the products concerned.

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