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President Donald Trump has threatened to impose $11 billion worth of tariffs on EU imports of cheese, wine and aircraft parts because of EU subsidies for Airbus, which he said had “adversely impacted the United States”.

The Trump administration cites the $11 billion figure as the amount of damage caused to US trade as a result of the subsidies.

This follows last year’s US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe (25% and 10% respectively), to which the EU retaliated with tariffs ranging between 10-50% on various products.

EU officials are preparing to take tit-for-tat measures against the US’ own subsidies for Boeing, which is currently under pressure following the grounding of the 737 MAX and scrutiny of US manufacturers’ self-certification. Shares in Airbus have subsequently hit a record high.

An Airbus spokesperson said it was already complying with requirements from the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a result of the US’ complaint dating back to 2005.

Trump’s actions follow a pattern of protectionist policies that tend to paint the US as a victim of unfair treatment in international trade.

Source: The Guardian

Header image: Justin Lim

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