The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced additional retaliatory tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on European Union goods as a result of World Trade Organization (WTO) findings on EU Airbus subsidies. On April 8, the USTR released a preliminary list of EU products that are set to be subject to additional tariffs, pending arbitration at the WTO.

According to the statement, USTR estimates that the EU subsidies cost the U.S. $11 billion in trade per year. It identifies EU products to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies. The EU has challenged the claims put forth by USTR.  The results of the WTO settlement dispute are expected to be issued this summer.

“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action. The Administration is preparing to respond immediately when the WTO issues its finding on the value of U.S. countermeasures,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted.”

Prior to these proposed tariffs, in 2011, the WTO found that the EU provided Airbus, a European multinational aerospace corporation, $18 billion in subsidized financing from 1968 to 2006. These subsidies permitted Airbus to launch every model of its large civil aircraft, causing Boeing to lose sales of more than 300 aircrafts and market share throughout the world. In response to the WTO findings, the EU removed two subsidies, but the USTR argues that a majority of the subsidies remain unchanged and persist in negatively affecting U.S. trade.

The proposed tariffs target four EU member nations in particular – France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Airbus trades shares and manufactures aircrafts in France, Germany, and Spain, and manufactures aircrafts in the United Kingdom. The EU products that are subject to additional tariffs according to the preliminary lists are largely associated with civil aircrafts and aircraft materials, including non-military helicopters, passenger and cargo transport aircrafts, undercarriages, fuselages, and parts thereof.

For more information regarding the status of the retaliatory tariffs on EU goods, refer to the statement published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.