In response to a long running dispute with the European Union (EU) over subsidies to Airbus, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has proposed additional tariffs on certain products of the EU covering approximately $11 billion in trade. The proposed list covers 317 tariff subheadings and includes fish, cheese, olive oil, wine, leather handbags, textiles, wool sweaters, outerwear, glassware, and table linens. In addition, helicopters and aircraft from four member states, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, will also be subject to additional tariffs.
The Trump administration has not yet announced the additional duty rates. This latest trade action, announced on April 8, 2019, is pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the same provision used in 2018 for the 10-25% additional tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese products imported into the U.S.
The administration will be holding a public hearing on the proposed list of products at the International Trade Commission in Washington, DC. on May 15, 2019. Requests to appear must be submitted by May 6, 2019. Written comments may also be submitted by May 28, 2019.
The trade dispute dates back to a 2004 U.S. challenge in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to EU subsidies of Airbus which had “adverse effects” on the U.S. According to the USTR, the final list of products will be announced and go into effect this summer once the WTO issues its final findings on the dispute settlement proceedings. According to the USTR, once in place, the tariffs will be applied until the EU removes the Airbus subsidies.