EU-US relations : the WTO authorises the United States to impose tariffs worth 6.8 billion EUR on EU products

3 OCTOBER 2019

On 2nd October, the WTO authorized the United States to impose tariffs against EU products at a level of nearly USD 7.5 billion annually (i.e. approximately 6.8 billion EUR) in the context of the Airbus dispute. As reported in the FRUCOM circular of 23 September 2019, the EU was informed that the WTO had accepted the US measures, but the final amount needed to be confirmed by the WTO as the US was initially requesting an amount of USD 11 billion.

Following this announcement, the US published the list of products that will be subject to the additional duties. The tariffs will apply to a range of imports from EU Member States, with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom – the four countries according to the US responsible for the subsidies to AIRBUS. The tariff increases will be limited to 10 percent on large civil aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural products. The US would continually re-evaluate these tariffs based on the discussions with the EU. Some of the products are:

  • Cherries, otherwise prepared or preserved (CN 2008 60 00)
  • Peaches (excluding nectarines), otherwise prepared or preserved (CN 2008 70 20)
  • Mixtures of fruit or other edible parts of plants, otherwise prepared or preserved (CN 2008 97 90)
  • Cherry juice, concentrated or not concentrated (CN 2009 89 65)
  • Juice of any single vegetable, other than tomato, concentrated or not concentrated (CN 2009 89 80)
  • Mussels, prepared or preserved (CN 1605 53 60)
  • Currant and berry fruit jellies (CN 2007 90 77)
  • Pears, otherwise prepared or preserved (CN 2008 40 00)
  • Pear juice, concentrated or not concentrated (CN 2009 89 20)
  • Prune juice, concentrated or not concentrated (CN 2009 89 40)
  • Oranges, fresh or dried (CN 0805 10 00)
  • Mandarins and other similar citrus hybrids including tangerines, satsumas, clementines, wilkings, fresh or dried (CN 08 05 21 00)
  • Clementines, fresh or dried, other (CN 0805 22 00)
  • Lemons, fresh or dried (CN 0805.50.20)
  • Cherries, dried (CN 0813 40 30)
  • Clams, prepared or preserved, excluding boiled clams, in immediate airtight containers (1605 56 20)
  • Cockles and arkshells, prepared or preserved (1605 56 60)
  • Molluscs nesoi, prepared or preserved (CN 1605 59 60)

Please see below the list with all the EU products concerned. The effective date of the additional duties is October 18, 2019.

USTR_Final_Product_List_duties_Aircraft dispute_191002

These measures complicate further the tensions between the EU and the US. It is expected that EU would now adopt similar measures once authorized by the WTO if there is no agreement between the EU and the US before. Please see here the reaction of the EU.

Background information

In parallel to this dispute, the EU expects the WTO panel report on the Boeing dispute to be released mid 2020. If accepted by the WTO panel, the EU would be legally entitled to impose tariffs on certain US products. Please see the draft list of US products in FRUCOM’s newsletter of 29 April and 9 September 2019.

Contact : Daniel Pérez Vega,