Europe is reportedly preparing a list of US imports worth some €20 billion ($22.6 billion) that will be subject to retaliatory tariffs in what appears to be the latest development in an incipient trade spat that helped crash the S&P 500’s eight-day winning streak earlier this week.
As the two sides inch closer to an all-out trade war, here’s more from Reuters:
The European Commission has drawn up a list of U.S. imports worth around 20 billion euros ($22.6 billion) that it could hit with tariffs over a transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute, EU diplomats said.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to impose U.S. tariffs on $11 billion worth of European Union products over what Washington sees as unfair subsidies given to European planemaker Airbus.
The EU measures would relate to the European Union’s World Trade Organization complaint over subsidies to Boeing.
A WTO adjudicator still has to set a final amount of potential countermeasures.
Offering a slightly different version of the facts, Bloomberg reported that the EU is considering retaliatory tariffs on €10.2 billion euros ($11.5 billion) of goods ranging from foods to helicopters. The list reportedly includes frozen seafood, vegetable oil, chocolate, rum, ketchup, orange juice, vodka, tobacco, trunks and many other items.
The WTO ruled last week that the European Union had unfairly subsidized French aerospace company and Boeing archrival Airbus, prompting President Trump to chime in and threaten tariffs on $11 billion of goods, though the WTO has not yet ruled on the proper retaliatory measures to which the US would be entitled.
The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products! The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2019
That reportedly prompted the EU to start preparing retaliatory tariffs, though the scope of those tariffs hadn’t yet been disclosed.
— jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) April 9, 2019
Especially now that the trade spat has been blamed for hitting the market, traders will be watching closely to see how this takes shape. Europe has of course filed its own complaints about Boeing with the WTO, and has won at least one victory in that effort. The tit-for-tat recriminations between the two companies have been gestating for 15 years, but Trump’s aggressive trade stance could ignite a full-scale trade war between the US and one of its largest trading partners and – at least on paper – historical allies. What’s worse, the war would come at a time when anxieties about further downside in global trade have inspired the IMF and a handful of European governments to slash their growth expectations.
The US and Europe narrowly avoided tariffs on cars and auto parts when Jean-Claude Juncker reached an informal truce with Trump in July in which both sides pledged to work toward scaling back transatlantic trade barriers, including tariffs on industrial goods. But Trump could still move ahead with tariffs on autos, as he has threatened to do.
Last year, the EU imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion) of American goods in response to Trump’s metal duties. Meanwhile, Europe has threatened to tariff some €20 billion ($22.6 billion) in response to any auto tariffs Trump might impose.