WTO gives Trump green light to tax European products

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized the United States to punish European countries, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain, which are the most targeted for a good reason, according to the Geneva institution, because they paid subsidies illegally to the European Airbus.

This final and indisputable decision will allow the Trump administration to bail out its coffers at 7.5 billion dollars (6.9 billion euros), customs duties on imports from these countries. These taxes apply every year until the WTO considers compliance with the regulations to prove that the offender has waived the denounced subsidies.

The WTO has therefore delivered its verdict after 15 years of a legal battle. It found that Airbus had benefited from the generosity of the four partner countries of the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. These measures will take effect from 18 October.

Donald Trump will impose customs duties on new civil aircraft imported from the European Union at a rate of 10% additional and 25% other products.

The list did not wait, and on Wednesday evening, the US Trade Representative (USTR) listed the European imports that will be affected by these additional customs duties. 150 categories of products coming primarily from these four major European countries, and also from the whole of the European Union, are targeted.

The targeted products are above all agricultural products. French and Spanish wines, Spanish olive oil, Scottish whiskey, coffee, and, above all, highly sensitive cheese from American farmers hit by a dairy crisis will be taxed at 25%. Industrial textile products also did not escape this exhaustive list, such as British sheets and blankets, knives, German machines, etc. Paradoxically, leather products are no longer on the list.

But let it be said, it is only a loan for a rendering. Indeed, at the small game of sprinkler sprayed, the WTO, in the same way, should pronounce sanctions against Washington, which subsidized the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing in a disguised manner.

In six months, the WTO will fix the number of sanctions that the EU will be allowed to impose on the Americans.

Disillusioned Europeans do not recover. Indeed, all this could have been avoided if the United States had not repeatedly refused negotiations to find a comprehensive solution to this war: “An amicable resolution is the best solution, especially since the EU will be able to impose sanctions against the United States next year in a cross-court dispute.  If they choose to impose sanctions, it would be an economic and political mistake. We will be ready with our European partners to respond firmly,” Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said on Wednesday evening before the decision.