The Latest: Airbus warns US against tariff retaliation


European Commissioner designate for Trade Phil Hogan answers questions during his hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the World Trade Organization’s ruling over EU’s Airbus subsidies (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Boeing competitor Airbus says the Trump administration would only hurt the United States if it slaps tariffs on the EU over its illegal financial support to the European aircraft manufacturer.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said following the World Trade Organization’s ruling that the Trump administration can slap up to $7.5 billion-worth of tariffs on EU products would have a “negative impact” on U.S. airlines as well as U.S. jobs, suppliers, and air travelers.

He says “the entire global industry will be harmed.”

Faury says “close to 40%” of Airbus’ aircraft-related procurement comes from U.S. suppliers, supporting “275,000 American jobs in 40 states through spending that has totaled $50 billion in the last three years alone.”


4:15 p.m.

The European Union’s top trade official says the bloc would prefer to reach a settlement with the United States and avoid a tariff war over aircraft subsidies but that it will respond should President Donald Trump impose new duties on EU products.

After the World Trade Organization cleared Trump to take action over illegal EU subsidies to plane-maker Airbus, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said “our readiness to find a fair settlement remains unchanged.”

But Malmstrom warned that “if the U.S. decides to impose WTO authorized countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than to do the same.”

The EU expects a similar WTO ruling on U.S. subsidies to Boeing in coming months.

Malmstrom says a tariff war “would only inflict damage on businesses and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, and harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”


4:05 p.m.

The World Trade Organization says the United States can impose tariffs on up to $7.5 billion worth of goods from the European Union as retaliation for illegal subsidies to European plane-maker Airbus — a record award from the trade body.

The move green-lights the Trump administration to slap countermeasures on the 28-member bloc and follows a WTO ruling in May 2018 on the Airbus subsidies.

Wednesday’s award doesn’t end the long-running trans-Atlantic dispute over aircraft: WTO arbitrators are expected to rule next year on how much the EU can impose in tariffs following a separate decision that went against Boeing.

The U.S. has already announced plans to impose tariffs on EU cheeses, olives, whiskey, as well as aircraft and aircraft parts. Wednesday’s decision may require fine-tuning of that list.


1:30 p.m.

The European Union is appealing to U.S. President Donald Trump to avoid any tit-for-tat tariff war as world trade’s governing body prepares to issue a ruling that could allow him to impose billions in duties on EU produce.

The World Trade Organization ruled in May that Europe illegally subsidized planemaker Airbus, hurting U.S. competitor Boeing. The EU won a similar WTO case accusing the U.S. of illegally subsidizing Boeing, but a ruling allowing possible retaliation is still months off.

European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Wednesday that “we should avoid imposing tariffs on one another.”

She says “we are still ready and willing to find a fair settlement, but if the U.S. decides to impose authorized countermeasures, the EU will do the same.”

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