Europe to hit US with tariffs worth £3bn

The EU has been given permission to hit the US with tariffs worth £3billion after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled Washington illegally gave money to the plane maker Boeing.

The EU can now slap goods such as blueberries and exercise bikes with levies.

The WTO ruling against Washington is the latest in a 16-year dispute, in which the US has countered by arguing the EU gave illegal help to plane maker Airbus.

Tariff fight: The World Trade Organisation ruled Washington illegally gave money to the plane maker Boeing

Tariff fight: The World Trade Organisation ruled Washington illegally gave money to the plane maker Boeing

Tariff fight: The World Trade Organisation ruled Washington illegally gave money to the plane maker Boeing

The US was given permission to put £5.7billion worth of tariffs on EU goods, including Scotch whisky, books and cashmere jumpers, last year.

It has already put punitive tariffs on items such as French wine and Italian cheese. 

But Brussels has now pleaded with Washington to use yesterday’s decision from the WTO to bring the long-running trade conflict to an end.

EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that the verdict should be a cue for the two sides to agree a ‘negotiated settlement’.

The dispute is one of the longest the WTO has ever overseen.

Airbus and Boeing are the world’s two largest aircraft makers.

Both have launched sweeping cost-cutting and redundancy programmes in the wake of the pandemic, which has decimated demand for new planes amid the disruption to air travel.

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