The Federation of German Industries said Thursday that the tariffs are “legally legitimate” after a World Trade Organization ruling, but “at the same time they are extremely damaging to economic and political relations.”
Organization head Joachim Lang says it is “disappointing that the U.S. is using this situation to escalate” ongoing trade strife, saying it makes a negotiated solution even harder by creating “further, unnecessary, trade tensions.”
He says “there is a risk that many industries on both sides of the Atlantic will find themselves in a lose-lose situation.”
The European Union says it regrets the U.S. decision to impose $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on EU products over the bloc’s support for plane-maker Airbus and says the Trump administration is shooting itself in the foot with such a move.
European Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said Thursday that “this is a move that will first and foremost hit U.S. consumers and companies and will make efforts towards a negotiated settlement more complicated.”
Rosario recalls that the World Trade Organization is due to authorize in coming months possible EU duties in a parallel case after finding that the U.S. was illegally subsidizing Boeing. The EU expects to be able to impose tariffs worth up to $12 billion.
Rosario says that “if the U.S. imposes countermeasures it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have to do the same”
He insists the EU “is ready to work together on a fair and balanced solution for our respective aircraft industries.”
The French government says the European Union will respond with “retaliatory measures” to the U.S. decision to impose tariffs on a range of the bloc’s exports, from cheese to wine.
Spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told news broadcaster BFM TV on Thursday: “We’ve tried to lessen this commercial tension, but if they are not in the mood for conciliation, obviously Europe will fight back.”
Olives, yogurt, fruit and large aircraft are among the European imports the U.S. plans to hit with tariffs after receiving the go-ahead Wednesday from the World Trade Organization in a case involving illegal EU subsidies for the aircraft giant Airbus.
The targeted imports are worth $7.5 billion. The tariffs, to take effect Oct. 18, will be 10% for EU aircraft and 25% for everything else.