Washington announces new tariffs on French and German products

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The United States announced on Wednesday that it would impose additional tariffs on French and German products, in retaliation for those imposed by the European Union, which it deems excessive and unfair because of the scope chosen to calculate them . Aeronautical spare parts, non-sparkling wines and French and German cognacs will, in a retaliatory position, be added to the list of products taxed since 2019, according to a press release from the US Trade Representative (USTR).

These customs duties are part of the dispute over public aid paid to Airbus and Boeing. Indeed, the EU was also authorized this year by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to levy additional customs duties on American products. But Washington believes it has been penalized by the chosen method of calculation, which, according to the Trump administration, has led to too high an amount of customs duties levied on American products.

In question, on the one hand the reference period, on the other hand, the geographical scope. Thus, “to implement its tariffs, the EU used trade data from a period during which trade volumes had been considerably reduced due to the terrible effects on the global economy of Covid-19″, denounces the USTR. “The result of this choice was that Europe imposed tariffs on many more products than what would have been covered if it had used a normal period. Although the United States explained to the EU the distorting effect of the chosen period, the EU refused to change its approach, ”the statement added.

Punitive tariffs

The United States thus announced “to change their reference period to align with that used by the European Union”. Moreover, deplores Washington, “the EU has made another choice which has unfairly increased the amount” of customs duties levied, by excluding the United Kingdom from its calculation, and considers that “the EU must take measures to compensate for this injustice ”.

Since 2019, the United States has imposed punitive tariffs on European imports such as wine, cheese and olive oil or Scotch whiskey, as well as 15% taxes on Airbus planes. Washington had been authorized by the WTO, up to 7.5 billion dollars. In retaliation, the EU has applied additional tariffs this year on $ 4 billion in imports from the United States. The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and its American competitor Boeing, and through them the European Union and the United States have been fighting each other since October 2004 before the WTO over public aid paid to the two groups, deemed illegal by both sides. other.

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