The US is increasing tariffs on Airbus SE planes imported from Europe to 15 percent, authorities announced, in a move the aerospace giant on Saturday said was “deeply” regrettable.
Friday’s decision to hike tariffs from March 18 “further escalates trade tensions between the US and the EU,” the European aerospace giant said in a statement, adding that it creates “more instability for US airlines that are already suffering from a shortage of aircraft.”
The announcement from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) came just days after US President Donald Trump said that it was time to talk “very seriously” about a trade deal with the EU.
Duties have been at 10 percent since October last year, when Washington hit European products worth US$7.5 billion with tariffs after the WTO gave the US a green light to take retaliatory trade measures against the EU over its subsidies to Airbus.
“Airbus deeply regrets USTR’s decision to increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the EU, as well as the decision to maintain tariffs on goods from other sectors,” the company said, referring to products — including wine, cheese, coffee and olives — that have been taxed at 25 percent since October.
The latest decision “ignores the many submissions made by US airlines, highlighting the fact that they — and the US flying public — will ultimately have to pay these tariffs,” it added.
The European Commission struck a cautious tone in a statement about the US decision on Airbus.
“In our view, the focus now should be on finding a negotiated solution to the aircraft disputes on the basis of the concrete EU proposals for existing subsidies and future disciplines in this sector,” it said.
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