WTO formally authorises Airbus tariffs

Imports and Exports | 15 October 2019

Tariffs on EU products do look set to go ahead after formal approval of a WTO ruling.


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has formally authorised the imposition of tariffs on European goods by the US as part of a ruling made in the long-running battle over subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

A meeting was held by the WTO's dispute settlement body, where it was ruled yesterday (October 14th 2019) that countermeasures could be taken against the EU and its Airbus-producing countries Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The meeting was merely a formality and the final decision would only have been denied had all WTO members voted against it.

As a result, the US will impose ten per cent tariffs on Airbus aeroplanes and 25 per cent levies on imported EU goods such as whiskey, wine and cheese.

The EU delegation has warned the decision is short-sighted, while EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom wrote to US trade representative Robert Lighthizer insisting it will damage businesses and threaten global trade, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, the WTO is expected to provide adjudication in a parallel case against America's Boeing early in 2020, which would grant the EU a similar green light to impose its own retaliatory tariffs on US products.