How to Win Friends and Infuence People: Trump Weighing 100% Tariffs on $10bn of EU Goods

Sowing the seeds of a US-Euro divorce

Editor’s note: Trump admin will say these tariffs are legal and not the start of a new trade war since WTO had ruled that EU subsidies to Airbus hurt Boeing (the ruling on whether US subsidies hurt Airbus still has to be made). However since the Europeans have appealed that ruling and since Trump has shut down WTO appeals court so that an appeal ruling can not be made Europeans may feel differently. Especially since Trump already instituted steel tariffs against them not backed by any WTO rulings, and threatened auto tariffs to boot.

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has published a new list of additional European products that it’s reviewing in the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of US WTO rights.

The notice contains a list of products, initially published in April 2019 and July 2019. The extended list is weighing the idea that 100% tariffs could be seen on products from almost every country in Europe. Some of these products include whiskeys, virgin olive oil, yogurt, cheese, knives, tools, liqueurs, and dozens of other products.

Scottish whiskey, Spanish olive oil, French cheese and the likes

The list published earlier this year is worth more than $10 billion. The USTR is hoping to weaponize tariffs to force Europe to cut subsidies to its manufacturing base.

Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling, quoted by CNBC, said the list of potentially tariffed European goods “once again includes blended whiskeys and Cognac … The fact that they had been excluded from the ‘final’ October list was a dodged bullet for Spirits companies back then. But now the threat is back.”

“This is a full reshuffle – we are potentially seeing a rolling tariff, which we highlighted as a possibility two months ago,” Stirling added.

The USTR’s weaponization of tariffs are in direct response to pressure Europe to cut subsidies to Airbus as it alleges these unfair practices hurt Boeing. 

Also, consider how Boeing is in a crisis and the groundings of the 737 Max have boosted production and sales of the Airbus A320neo, which by late 2019, has outpaced Boeing in orders. Just this development alone has angered the Trump administration.

USTR’s office said in a Dec. 2 statement: “As a result of the EU’s failure to address these subsidies, on October 18, the United States imposed tariffs of 10% on large civil aircraft and 25% on agricultural and other products.”

USTR added that “the United States is initiating a process to assess increasing the tariff rates and subjecting additional EU products to the tariffs,” because Europe has failed to decrease subsidies to its manufacturers.

It seems that President Trump’s confidence as a protectionist has soared since reaching a phase one trade deal with China on Friday, that his administration is now ready to intensify a trade war with Europe.

Source: Zero Hedge

  1. John Mason says

    EU will fold, no doubt about that.

    1. silver7 says

      Yes they fold to the US while acting unreliable to their own 28 countries.. Not very clever. Getting 756 billion from 28 countries and offering 0.1 expansion. Who would invest in that record.

  2. Mary E says

    The US foreign and all other policies are made by madmen and it is interesting to watch the hateful Empire dissolve into total
    Chaos brought by the bunch running Washington..
    The rest of the world is just about done dealing with the he overgrown bully of a hegemon..

  3. CHUCKMAN says

    America has descended into insanity.

    This comes at the same time it is threatening sanctions for new Nord stream 2 Russian gas.

    And threatening sanctions for Turkey’s buying Russian missiles.

    And other matters.

    And just as Macron calls into question the mental state of NATO and Mrs Merkel says the US is no longer a dependable partner.

    Win friends and influence people, indeed.

  4. James Willy says

    Every country on earth (barring occupied Palestine) should boycott every thing made in usa. Be it planes to toilet paper every single thing made in these 2 hell on earth places should be boycotted until the rest of the world can bankrupt them. Shut them out. Ignore them completely and team up against them. Park nuke subs of the east and west coast for them and wait for their next attack. Then FIGHT BACK for a change. Bring their war right to downtown suburbanville usa. Putin promised us this. Now DO IT already.

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