The Trump administration plans to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European imports—from gouda cheese to single-malt whiskey to large aircraft—beginning Oct. 18 to retaliate against illegal European Union subsidies for aviation giant Airbus. The latest escalation in the administration’s tariffs will open a new chapter in the trade wars that are heightening fears of a global recession, the AP reports. The administration received a green light for its latest import taxes Wednesday from the World Trade Organization, which ruled that the US could impose the tariffs as retaliation for illegal aid that the 28-country EU gave to Airbus in its competition with its American rival Boeing.
The WTO announcement culminates a 15-year fight over EU subsidies for Airbus. EU aircraft will face a 10% import tax; other products on the list will be hit with 25% tariffs. President Trump called the WTO ruling a "big win" for the US and claimed it happened because WTO officials "want to make sure I'm happy." EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc would prefer to reach a settlement with the US to avoid a tariff war but if "the US decides to impose WTO authorized countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than to do the same." WTO arbitrators are expected to rule next year about how much the EU can impose in tariffs following a separate decision that went against Boeing.
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