October 2, 2019 / 2:22 PM / a month ago

EU says U.S. tariffs linked to Airbus would be counterproductive

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday that a U.S. move to impose trade sanctions on EU imports would be short-sighted and counterproductive and risked causing damage on both sides of the Atlantic.

The World Trade Organization has granted the United States the right to target $7.5 billion per year of EU imports over illegal subsidies paid to Airbus (AIR.PA). In a parallel case, the European Union has also requested the right to take measures over subsidies to Boeing (BA.N), with a WTO decision due next year.

The Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 28-nation EU, said that the mutual imposition of countermeasures would only inflict harm on businesses and people on both sides of the Atlantic. It said the two sides should reach a fair settlement.

“But if the U.S. decides to impose WTO authorized countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than do the same,” the Commission said in a statement.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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