The World Trade Organization gave Europe permission to impose tariffs
By Diego Flammini
Some U.S. farm goods could be subject to tariffs from the European Union (EU) following a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision.
On Tuesday, the global trade body gave the EU permission to place tariffs on $4 billion of American products annually in response to illegal subsidies the U.S. provided to Boeing, a domestic airplane manufacturer.
Since 2004, the U.S. and EU have gone back and forth claiming the other is breaking rules with subsidies to Boeing and Airbus, Europe’s plane manufacturer.
The EU could target several U.S. ag items.
In April 2020, the EU published a list of American goods it would consider taxing.
The list includes potatoes, soybean oil, wheat, fruits and vegetables, tobacco and wine.
In 2019, the EU was America’s fourth largest ag trading market, importing $11.7 billion of U.S. ag products that year. It was also the top market for U.S. tree nuts, planting seeds and pulses, the United States Department of Agriculture said.
The tariffs won’t come into effect immediately.
The EU must first request authorization from the WTO before it can apply the levies. The earliest the EU can ask for its authorization is Oct. 26.
The U.S. is committed to finding a solution that works for both itself and Europe.
“We are waiting for a response from the EU to a recent U.S. proposal and will intensify our ongoing negotiations with the EU to restore fair compensation and a level playing field to (the aerospace) sector,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in an Oct. 13 statement.
If Europe does follow through with tariffs, there would likely be a U.S. response, he added.
Farms.com has reached out to U.S. ag groups for comment.