Airbus 'Deeply Regrets' US Decision to Raise Tariffs on EU Aircraft

Trump administration raises duties on EU aircraft to 15 percent

U.S. raises tariffs on European-built aircraft in ongoing dispute over subsidies

Airbus said on Saturday that it "deeply regretted" the USA decision, which it said would hurt American airlines and their customers.

Yesterday's decision to hike tariffs to 15 per cent from March 18 "further escalates trade tensions between the USA and the EU", the company said in a statement.

The Airbus statement said the tariffs create "more instability for United States airlines that are already suffering from a shortage of aircraft".

The US Trade Representative subsequently launched a review of its tariffs and sought input on whether it should remove some products from the October list of tariffs; increase duties on certain goods on that list up to 100 percent; or impose levies on additional products not included in the October list.

"Airbus has and will continue to push for a negotiated settlement to this 15-year-long dispute", it said noting that the "further escalation complicates efforts to find a negotiated outcome to this dispute".

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The United States has said it will increase the tariff rate imposed on aircraft from Brussels to 15 percent from 10 percent on March 18.

The WTO found that the European Union had provided billions of dollars' worth of illegal aid to the plane maker - the main rival of the US-based Boeing - and permitted the U.S. to impose retaliatory tariffs, putting an end to the trade dispute which began in 2004.

The move followed a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where the USA won the case against the European Union over subsidies the bloc gave to Airbus. In a statement, the US Trade Representative said it is also leaving duties on other European products, such as Scotch Whisky and French wine, at 25 percent.

"The EU has stated it may impose retaliatory tariffs this spring on USA rum, vodka, and brandy in its parallel case at the WTO concerning Boeing".

Industry executives in Europe and the United States are on tenterhooks awaiting each new announcement from trade authorities.

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Both have claimed such assistance by the other side are illegal.

The council called on authorities to withdraw 25% taxes on American whiskeys in the EU, and 25 percent taxes on liquors imported from five European countries, pointing to fears of a negative impact on the USA economy and jobs.

After a trade war with China that lasted almost two years and featured punishing reciprocal tariffs, Trump signed a "phase one" trade deal with Beijing in January, calling it a "momentous step. righting the wrongs of the past".

He has also threatened to hike tariffs on French wine - now taxed at 25 percent - even further unless there is a deal on a digital tax which European nations want to impose on American giants such as Amazon and Facebook.

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