What Happened: The United States will impose tariffs on a range of imports from the European Union after the World Trade Organization ruled that Washington could proceed with duties against as much as $7.5 billion worth of imports over illegal EU subsidies for Airbus, the Financial Times reported Oct. 2. The measures include a 10 percent tariff on civilian aircraft imports and a 25 percent duty on other agricultural and industrial goods.
Why It Matters: Washington's tariff announcement will set the stage for a tit-for-tat escalation in tariffs between the European Union and the United States as Brussels will respond with its own countermeasures. Many EU member states are already experiencing an economic slowdown, and worsening trans-Atlantic trade relations could further exacerbate fears of a recession.
Background: After delaying a decision in May, the United States has yet to decide on its threat to impose higher tariffs on European car imports, while it has also warned that it could impose punitive measures over France's digital tax.
- The WTO Protects Its Power in a Landmark National Security Case (April 5, 2019)
- Why a Global Economic Downshift, No Matter How Small, Matters (Jan. 24, 2019)
- For Trump's Auto Tariff Threats, Credibility Is the Name of the Game (Nov. 15, 2018)