The United States announced, Wednesday, December 30, that it would impose additional customs duties on French and German products, in retaliation to those imposed by the European Union, which they consider excessive and unfair. Aeronautical spare parts, non-sparkling wines and cognacs will be subject to higher customs duties to cross the Atlantic. The office of the United States Trade Representative did not specify the amount of these surcharges, nor their effective date.
This new commercial offensive is part of the dispute over subsidies paid to Airbus aircraft manufacturers and Boeing. In October, the EU was also authorized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to levy additional tariffs on American products. But Washington believes it has been penalized by the method of calculation chosen, which, according to Donald Trump’s administration, has led to too high an amount of customs duties levied on American products.
Brussels “regret” the US decision to impose additional tariffs. “This unilateral US action is disrupting the ongoing negotiations between the Commission and the US Trade Representative to find a settlement in the long conflict between [Boeing et Airbus]“, criticized, Thursday, the European Commission. For its part, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus judged these new taxes “counterproductive[s]“ for the American industry, which shows a desire to“climbing” to which Europe must react.
The French wine and spirits sector considers itself “sacrificed for a dispute over aeronautics”, denounced Thursday the Federation of FEVS exporters. “There is no longer any escape, it is the entire sector resulting from the vineyards which is impacted”, regretted César Giron, president of the Federation, to AFP, expressing his “anger” and his “consternation”.
These American taxes will be in addition to those already imposed since 2019 on European imports such as wine, cheese, olive oil or whiskey, as well as on Airbus planes. Washington had been authorized to do so by the World Trade Organization (WTO).