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US slaps 25% tariffs on French products

Tariffs on $7.5billion worth of goods announced in response to EU subsidies for Airbus

French wines, cheeses and olives are among a wide range of European products to be slapped with tariffs of 25% by the USA from October 18.

Meanwhile, aeroplanes and aeroplane parts made in Europe will be subject to tariffs of 10%.

The tariffs were announced after the United States Trade Representative won approval from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose import tariffs on $7.5billion of goods in response to EU subsidies to Airbus - the largest-ever tariff sanction imposed by the trade body.

Most of the tariffs will be imposed on products from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The full list of products affected is available here. Roquefort cheese is specifically excluded from the tariffs.

“For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our workers. Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

“Accordingly, the United States will begin applying WTO-approved tariffs on certain EU goods beginning October 18. We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue.”

A WTO decision on what tariffs the EU can impose on US goods over US state aid for aeroplane manufacturer Boeing is due next year.

France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire said the country was "ready to respond firmly with our European partners".
"A friendly resolution to the Boeing/Airbus dispute is the best solution, and all the more so given that Europe could impose sanctions on the US next year," he said.

Meanwhile, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury has said that import duties on aircraft would disrupt the industry, raise costs and hurt economies including the US.

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