Brussels sparks trade war with Donald Trump and threatens £16.5bn worth of tariffs on US products

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BRUSSELS is ready to spark a fresh trade row with Donald Trump by slapping £16.5 billion worth of tariffs on US products.

Eurocrats are set to retaliate against Washington subsidising aircraft manufacturer Boeing – a major rival of Europe’s flagship maker Airbus.

AFP or licensors

Brussels has threatened to slap £16.5billion worth of tariffs on US products[/caption]

Any tariffs would have to be applied by the UK during the transition period and beyond that if we stay in the Customs Union.

The threat comes after Mr Trump accused the EU of being “so tough” on Britain in Brexit talks and vowed to play hardball with the bloc on trade.

He said: “The EU is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change.

“Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!”

BITTER BATTLE

There has been a bitter 14-year battle between the US and EU at the WTO over state support for their respective aircraft companies.

The international trade court has ruled that both received illegal support, entitling Washington and Brussels to apply “rebalancing measures”.

It will decide the final volume of tariffs the US can levy on Europe in July, and then what the EU can apply to American products a few months after that.

‘OPEN FOR DISCUSSIONS’

A Commission source said: “The EU has launched preparatory work on its countermeasures in the Boeing case and will soon be publishing an indicative list of products.

“The EU remains open for discussions with the US, provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome.”

Mr Trump has already announced his intention to hit products including Spanish olives and French Roquefort cheese with higher taxes.

The row came as France attempted to block the opening of new EU-US talks designed to try and avert a full blown trans-Atlantic trade war.


Paris was left isolated yet again as it voted against beginning negotiations at an internal Brussels meeting yesterday.

Emmanuel Macron has said the EU should not do a deal with Washington because of Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate pact.

But he is vastly outnumbered and talks on a limited trade deal covering industrial goods when ministers meet on Monday.

AFP or licensors

Washington subsidised aircraft manufacturer Boeing – a major competitor of Europe’s Airbus[/caption]

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