May 13, 2021

Volume XI, Number 133

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U.S. Set To Impose Retaliatory Tariffs On $7.5 Billion In EU Goods Following WTO’s Airbus Ruling

On Oct. 2, 2019, the World Trade Organization (WTO) authorized the United States to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of products annually from the European Union (EU) in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies. This is the largest arbitration award in the WTO’s history.

This decision follows the United States’ 15-year dispute with the EU over subsidies being given to Airbus. The U.S. alleged that Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the U.S. aerospace industry and its workers and are inconsistent with WTO obligations. Because the EU failed to comply with prior WTO rulings, this latest WTO ruling allows the U.S. to apply retaliatory tariffs until the harmful EU subsidies are removed.

According to U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. will begin applying tariffs on certain EU goods beginning on Oct. 18.

The U.S. has the authority to apply a 100% tariff on affected EU products; however, at this time the tariff increases will be limited to 10% on large civil aircrafts and 25% on agricultural and other products. The list of products currently affected by these tariffs are primarily from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, which are the four countries the WTO deemed responsible for the illegal subsidies. These products include Scotch whiskies, sweaters, coats, coffee, waffles, frozen meat, olives, fresh cheeses and wine, to name a few. The products that have not been included on the final list include, but are not limited to, uncooked pasta, cast iron, tubes, pipes, and sodium nitrate. Notably, the U.S. has decided not to impose additional duties on certain products following public comments on the initial proposed list.

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© 2021 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 280
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About this Author

Linda M. Weinberg International trade lawyer Barnes Thornburg
Partner

Linda Weinberg provides practical advice to business and institutional clients on international trade law, including export controls, foreign assets control and customs. She works regularly with the U.S. and foreign government agencies that regulate international trade to help clients realize their distinct objectives surrounding their global commerce initiatives.

Co-chair of the firm’s International Trade practice group, Linda advises and represents clients on commodity jurisdiction, export classification, licensing, technical assistance agreements, and enforcement related to...

202-408-6902
Timo Rehbock International Corporate Lawyer Barnes Thornburg Law Firm
Partner

Chair of the firm’s European practice group, Timo Rehbock advises on domestic and international corporate and commercial matters. His experience ranges from general commercial contracts to private equity and venture capital investments, mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, and strategic alliances.

Timo has a strong domestic and an established international corporate and commercial law practice. He has more than a decade of experience in representing clients on complex inbound and outbound matters. Fluent in English, German, French, and Spanish, Timo advises clients on...

312-214-4592
Adetayo Osuntogun Associate DC Corporate  Customs  Export Controls  International Trade  Trade Remedies
Associate

Tayo handles matters on his clients’ behalf regarding compliance with U.S. export control regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), U.S. sanctions programs and other trade regulations.

Adetayo "Tayo" Osuntogun’s practice focuses on international trade, export controls, economic sanctions, and internal investigations. Tayo works with major automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, including conducting export compliance investigations, performing internal audits, and designing trade and export compliance programs...

202-371-6365
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