Jan 04, 2021 13:16 PM

In a statement, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said it will add duties on aircraft components and certain non-sparkling wines, as well as cognacs and other brandies from France and Germany.

The USTR did not say when the tariffs will go into effect, but noted that more details will be released "soon".

The US decision comes as US and European negotiators continue talks to end their long-running dispute over state aid to aircraft maker Airbus, which has the political backing of the UK, France, Germany and Spain, and those of Washington to its rival Boeing.

The USTR said on Wednesday that the EU unfairly calculated the tariffs against the United States backed by a ruling by the World Trade Organization in September in the ongoing dispute: "The EU needs to take some action to redress this injustice."

The European Commission on Wednesday regretted the US government's decision, saying it alters the negotiation process on state subsidies between the European bloc and the United States and stating that it will meet as soon as possible with the new Joe Biden government to find a solution.

Airbus representatives could not be immediately reached for comment on the USTR's decision.

Ben Aneff, president of the US Wine Trade Alliance, said the decision will cause further difficulties for American companies already affected by the previous tariffs, and urged President-elect Joe Biden to quickly reverse this tariff policy.


“This action is a punishment for American companies. America's restaurants and small businesses are already struggling to survive; this decision will only destroy more jobs and close more doors, ”said Aneff, managing partner at Tribeca Wine Merchants in New York City.


For its part, the French wine exporters federation expressed its rejection of the imposition of tariffs on the country's wines and cognac, saying that it will entail a cost of around 1 billion euros for the sector.

French exporters assured that the impact of the new tariffs on cognac sales in the United States will be "great".

Emily Haber, Germany's ambassador to the United States, this month urged swift action to resolve the dispute, calling it a distraction from larger issues that require joint action like climate change and the pandemic.

Source: Reuters

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