The World Trade Organization (WTO) has authorized the European Union to impose import duties on US products of USD 4 billion. That’s what Reuters news agency reports based on insider information. These charges would allow the EU to retaliate against state aid prohibited by the Americans to the airline group Boeing.
These are charges in a long-standing dispute between the US and the EU over state aid to their aviation sector. Last year, the US finally got its way with the WTO and was allowed to impose import duties of USD 7.5 billion in European products. Favourable loans from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom to Airbus were indeed prohibited state aid, the WTO ruled.
The EU, for its part, complains about US state aid, such as alleged subsidies and favourable tax rules that Boeing could benefit from for years in the US. At a time when the WTO seems to agree with Europeans, latent trade tensions between Washington and Brussels may be reviving. According to Reuters, analysts also state that a breakthrough in the 16-year conflict could pave the way for talks on a solution to the conflict.
According to sources from Reuters, the WTO publishes the official decision within a few weeks. The trade representative for the United States refused to react immediately. The EU embassy in Washington was also not available for comment.