US to Impose Tariffs on $7.5bn of EU Exports over Illegal State Subsidies

The US has been told it can impose tariffs on £6.1bn of EU goods as part of a 15-year trade dispute over illegal state subsidies.

The ruling, by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), threatens to spark a transatlantic trade war should the Trump administration signal the sanctions will go ahead.

The WTO has found, in a dispute dating back to 2004, that both France-based Airbus and its fierce US rival Boeing received billions of illegal state aid.

The European Commission said any tariffs imposed by the US would be “short-sighted and counterproductive”.

The US Trade Representative has already identified Airbus jets, helicopters, wine, handbags and cheese as goods to face possible tariffs.

In the UK, where Airbus makes wings for its planes, the government said it was seeking confirmation from the WTO that the country had complied with rulings regarding support to Airbus and should therefore not be subjected to any tariffs.

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