The US is weighing tariffs on $11bn of EU products — including civilian aircraft and agricultural goods ranging from Roquefort cheese to olive oil — in a move that threatens to further escalate transatlantic trade tensions.
President Donald Trump’s administration said it was proposing the levies in response to EU subsidies to support Airbus, the European aerospace and defence group, which were judged to be illegal by the World Trade Organization.
“The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus have adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products!” Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!”
The move represents a significant escalation between Washington and Brussels at a time when officials on both sides of the Atlantic have become increasingly frustrated with one another. It also comes at a particularly sensitive time for the EU, with elections to the European Parliament set for next month and the 28-member bloc grappling with huge uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations.