BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization opened the door on Wednesday for the United States to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion European goods over subsidies for Airbus (AIR.PA).
The WTO has found that the European planemaker and its U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N) received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies and, 15 years after starting parallel cases, will give its view on a U.S. request to retaliate against EU imports. It is likely to decide on a similar EU request early in 2020.
The United States drew up a final list of tariffs, set to come into force on Oct. 18. The European Union has also drawn up a provisional lists of products they could hit with tariffs.
The United States had issued a preliminary list in April that featured EU imports worth an annual $21 billion, topping it up in July with a further $4 billion, indicating it could apply tariffs of up to 100%.
After the $7.5 billion award, a record for the WTO, Washington has revised its list and says it intends to apply tariffs from Oct. 18 as follows. (here)
A 10% tariff will apply to large civil aircraft from the four Airbus-producing countries - Britain, France, Germany and Spain.
Tariffs of 25% will apply to selected products from those countries, including British whisky, sweaters and pyjamas, German coffee and tools such as screwdrivers and German or British biscuits, wafers and printed books.
Spanish and French olives and wines from any of the four countries would also be hit.
For the EU as a whole, the chief target is cheese, along with pork products, shellfish and fruit, including juice.
Absent from the list, compared with the initial version, are aircraft parts, helicopters, fish (except shellfish), bed linen, metals, bicycle parts, wall clocks and handbags.
The initial $21 billion U.S. list is here - here
Its subsequent $4 billion top-up list is here - here
Planes and food also feature on a provisional list of U.S. imports worth $20 billion that the European Union said in April it could hit with tariffs if it wins an award in its WTO case against Boeing subsidies, likely to be next year.
The EU’s 11-page list also includes a diverse range of produce from dried fruit and nuts to coffee and ketchup, as well as wines and spirits, frozen fish, tobacco, handbags, suitcases, tractors, helicopters and video game consoles.
More obscure items include bowling alley equipment, casino tables and electric car racing sets.
The full provisional list is here - here
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Pravin Char and Jane Merriman