European Union puts tariffs on U.S. goods, including ag products

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The European Union said earlier this week it will impose tariffs on up to four billion dollars’ worth of U.S. goods and services, including some agricultural imports. The move comes out of a dispute over U.S. assistance for Boeing, which is a bitter rival to Europe’s Airbus.

News Tribune Dot Com says European trade ministers agreed on the move a few weeks after international arbitrators gave the EU the go-ahead for implementing the tariffs. The World Trade Organization ruled that some of the U.S. support for Boeing was illegal and said the EU could make up for that with a limited amount of duties on U.S. trade.

The tariffs are officially in effect on Tuesday. The EU Commission’s Executive Vice President says, “Regrettably, despite our best efforts and due to the lack of progress from the U.S. side, we can confirm that the European Union will exercise our rights and impose the countermeasures.”

It was a year ago that the WTO ruled similarly for the United States, allowing it to impose duties on EU goods worth up to $7.5 billion because of European support for Airbus. The EU Trade Commission is calling on the U.S. to agree that both sides will drop their countermeasures immediately so that they can put the issue behind them.