U.S. tariffs hit european food and wine

The Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on Italian cheese, French wine and single-malt Scotch whisky in retaliation for European Union subsidies on large aircraft. The overall list covers approximately $7.5bn of goods.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office released a list of hundreds of European products that will get new tariffs, including cookies, salami, butter and yogurt – but in many cases applied to only some EU countries, including German camera parts and blankets produced in the United Kingdom.

This latest round is the result of a dispute that originally began in 2004, when the U.S. complained to the World Trade Organization about the subsidies the E.U. was providing to Airbus for the development of its A380 and A350 planes, to the detriment of Boeing. The case has been argued about ever since, and has now escalated following a WTO ruling issued yesterday as global trade wars between the Trump administration and the rest of the world heat up.

The main target of the U.S. tariffs is therefore Airbus aircraft made in the EU, which face 10% levy that could hurt U.S. airlines such as Delta (DAL.N) that have billions of dollars of Airbus orders waiting to be filled. EU products winning reprieves include chocolate, Greek, French and Portuguese olive oil, helicopters, frozen fish, lobster, sparkling wine, stemware and tiles.

The list includes UK-made sweaters, pullovers, cashmere items and wool clothing, as well as olives from France and Spain, EU-produced pork sausage and other pork products other than ham, and German coffee. The new tariffs are to take effect as early as Oct. 18.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said it would “continually re-evaluate these tariffs based on our discussions with the EU” and expects to enter talks in a bid to resolve the dispute.

Still some Italian foods — Parmesan Reggiano, Romano and provolone cheese — were hit with tariffs as were Italian fruits, clams and yogurt. — Italian wine, pasta and olive oil were spared, though. Also getting new tariffs are German and British camera parts, industrial microwave ovens, printed books, sweet biscuits and waffles.

Specialty food importers in August had urged the Trump administration to skip the tariffs, saying “there are few to no domestic products” that could replace the imported items.

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