Fine duties on goods
Against the backdrop of many years of conflict with the United States over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus aircraft manufacturers, the European Union will impose penalties on American products. On Monday, 9 November, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, said before the videoconference of the EU Ministers of Trade: "The European Commission has already received such permission from the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and now we will do it".
According to him, the new duties will come into force on Tuesday, 10 November. At the same time the Deputy Chairman of the European Commission stressed that Brussels is still "certainly" open for the settlement of the conflict through negotiations. He also noted that the European Commission is ready to suspend or cancel the duties at any time if America stops or cancels its duties. At the same time, according to Dombrovskis, no such signals have been received from Washington so far.
Thus, Brussels decided not to wait for US President-elect Joe Biden to take office and for a possible change of course in trade policy, because in this area Donald Trump's successor is also considered to be a supporter of protectionism.
The WTO has allowed the EU to impose penalties against America
In mid-October, the WTO allowed the EU to impose penalties on goods imported from the USA in the amount of USD 4 billion (EUR 3.4 billion) per year. This measure is adequate for the "bad effects" caused by the illegal subsidy by the US authorities to the American airline company Boeing, the organisation's decision states.
The dispute over government aid to Boeing Corporation and its European competitor, Airbus Concern, has lasted for over 16 years. As a result, the WTO recognised some subsidies as unacceptable for both aircraft manufacturers. In 2019, the organisation allowed the USA to levy duties on European goods and services for a total amount of approximately 7.5 billion euros. Airbus aircraft were affected, as were wine, cheese and olive oil.