October 22, 2019 12:00 AM NPT
President Donald Trump and the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office have slapped punitive tariffs on America’s largest trading partners.
President Trump is preparing to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of imports from the European Union as soon as October 18, as part of an ongoing battle over illegal subsidies for planemakers Airbus and its rival Boeing.
A trade war between the U.S. and EU would be more damaging than the one raging with China. Bilateral trade in goods and services with the EU reached $1,259 billion last year, with Washington suffering a deficit of $109bn according to USTR figures. In comparison, bilateral trade with China reached $737.2bn in 2018.
EU products facing tariffs of 25 per cent include cheese from Italy, French wine and olives and Spanish olive oil, whisky from Britain, and machinery from Germany. Planes from Airbus will attract a 10 per cent penalty.
From November 14, Trump has threatened to impose a 25 per cent levy on foreign-made vehicles and parts imported from Japan, South Korea and EU, citing national security concerns.