U.S. Considering New Tariffs on $3.1 Billion Goods From the European Union

On June 23, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) proposed imposing new tariffs and raising existing tariffs on imports of a number of goods from France, Germany, Spain and the UK valued at $3.1 billion. The newly proposed tariffs resulted from the long-running trade dispute with the European Union over its subsidies to Airbus.
The USTR is now preparing to impose new tariffs on European products such as olives, beer, gin and trucks, while increasing tariffs on some categories of goods, including aircraft, cheese, and yogurt.
The latest move is required by Congress under a trade law provision known as "carousel," which requires the USTR to review any World Trade Organization-sanctioned retaliation list every six months for possible changes. The impetus behind carousel was to maintain pressure on the other side to change its “offending practices” by bringing more of its domestic industries into the dispute.
The USTR previously conducted a review of the Airbus retaliatory duties under the carousel provision. That review resulted in the U.S. raising the retaliatory duties on European aircraft from 10% to 15% while adding additional items to the list of European goods hit with a 25% duty. Read the Changes to Additional Section 301 Tariffs on Certain European Unions Goods. The USTR said it would be considering rotating the current duties to products on either the newly-published list of European goods or its previously-published lists.
An electronic portal opened on June 26, 2020, for interested parties to submit comments on what should, or should not, be included on the revised retaliation list. The comment period closes on July 26, 2020.
Read the published USTR notice.