US Adds Tariffs on French and German Wines, Aircraft Parts

US Adds Tariffs on French and German Wines, Aircraft Parts

The U.S. government on Wednesday said it would add tariffs on certain European Union products. Those include aircraft components and wines from France and Germany. It’s the latest twist in a 16-year battle over aircraft subsidies between Washington and Brussels.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said it added tariffs on manufacturing parts of aircraft. It would do the same for certain non-sparkling wines and cognacs and other brands from France and Germany.

The USTR did disclose when the tariffs would take effect but advised to expect forthcoming details.

The U.S. move comes as U.S. and European negotiations continue about ending the long-running dispute over government aid. That refers to Europe’s Airbus SE (OTC: EADSY).

Airbus SE is politically backed by Britain, France, Germany, and Spain, and U.S. aid to planemaker Boeing (NYSE: BA) Co.

The EU had unfairly calculated tariffs against the U.S. That was allowed by a September World Trade Organization ruling in the ongoing dispute, the USTR said on Wednesday. The EU should take some measures to compensate for this unfairness, it said.

Unfortunately, EU and Airbus representatives did not comment on the USTR action.

More Tariffs would Further Cause Hardship to US Companies.

President of the US Wine Trade Alliance, Ben Aneff, said the action would cause further hardship for U.S. companies. It’s because previous tariffs already wallop them. He urged President-elect Joe Biden to reverse course quickly.

Aneff said this action is a body blow for American companies. Furthermore, U.S. restaurants and small businesses are already struggling. 

This decision will only destroy more jobs and shutter more doors, he added. Aneff is a managing partner of Tribeca Wine Merchants in New York City.

Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, urged quick action to resolve the dispute this month. She called it a distraction from bigger issues that require joint action, such as climate change and the pandemic.