Daily Management Review

Head of French Finance Ministry speaks in favour of increase of tariffs for US goods


Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Reconstruction, believes it is necessary for the European Union to resort to countermeasures by raising tariffs on goods from the country in connection with disputes with the United States over aviation industry subsidies.

"Yes, I am in favour of a tariff increase. And we will discuss this issue this Friday with my German counterpart Peter Altmaier. We should not forget that the problem has arisen because the USA is imposing sanctions on Europe due to the well-known conflict caused by subsidies to Boeing and Airbus," said Le Maire.

He stressed that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has already granted the European Union permission to raise tariffs, "i.e., to respond to the US". "US President Donald Trump made it very clear that he still intends to take action against Europe," Le Maire reminded. 

"The US should now realise that Europe has the possibility of imposing sanctions against them as part of this conflict. The EU will respond to American sanctions with its sanctions, which should be an important political choice for Europe," the French minister assured.

"The European Union should determine whether it intends to passively impose American sanctions. Or we can demonstrate our strength when legal provisions allow us to do so. <...> Europe must prepare itself for the imposition of sanctions, the right and all the necessary opportunities for which it has the right," said Le Maire.

Trump said earlier that the United States would take an even tougher response if the European Union imposed about $4 billion a year in duties on American goods due to a commercial dispute over Boeing's subsidies. The WTO Arbitration Group then allowed Brussels to take such trade retaliatory measures. 

At the same time, the arbitrators upheld their decision taken on 2 October 2019 on the amount of duties which the U.S. may impose on EU goods (approximately $7.5 billion per year) due to the non-compliance of Airbus with WTO rules on subsidies in the European Union.

source: bfmtv.com