BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization was set to open the door on Wednesday for the United States to impose hefty tariffs on European goods over subsidies for Airbus (AIR.PA).
The WTO has found that the European planemaker and its U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N) received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies and, 15 years after starting parallel cases, will give its view on a U.S. request to retaliate against EU imports. It is likely to decide on a similar EU request early in 2020.
Both sides have drawn up provisional lists of products they could hit with tariffs, to be fine-tuned after the decisions.
The United States issued a preliminary list in April that featured EU imports worth an annual $21 billion (£17.14 billion).
That list was split in two. Section one contains civil cargo and passenger planes and helicopters from the four Airbus producing countries - Britain, France, Germany and Spain.
The longer section two lists goods to be targeted from any of the 28 EU member countries.
They include fish and shellfish, citrus fruit, olive oil, juice, wine and a range of cheeses from cheddar and stilton to edam and Roquefort.
Handbags, paper, yarn, carpets, clothing including sweaters and pyjamas, bed linen, ceramics, metals, cutlery, bicycle parts, wall clocks and artists’ brushes are also listed.
That initial list is here - here
In July, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office added a further $4 billion of EU products that could feature on a final list, which would be subject to tariffs of up to 100%.
This supplementary list of 89 products features frozen meat, milk, more cheese, olives, fruit, coffee, pork products including sausages, whiskies, fertilizer and copper.
This additional list is here - here
Planes, food and handbags also feature on a provisional list of U.S. imports worth $20 billion that the European Union said in April it could hit with tariffs if it wins an award in its WTO case against Boeing subsidies, likely to be next year.
The EU’s 11-page list also includes a diverse range of produce from dried fruit and nuts to coffee and ketchup, as well as wines and spirits, frozen fish, tobacco, handbags, suitcases, tractors, helicopters and video game consoles.
More obscure items include bowling alley equipment, casino tables and electric car racing sets.
The full provisional list is here - here
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Pravin Char