EU 'regrets' new US tariffs, looks to Biden

By: AFP      Published: 04:35 PM, 12 Jan, 2021
EU 'regrets' new US tariffs, looks to Biden

The EU regretted a new wave of US tariffs on French and German products that came into force on Tuesday and said it would seek a trade truce with the incoming Biden administration.

The tariffs are yet another chapter in a 16-year spat over subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing that turned increasingly sour under US President Donald Trump.

French exporters were hit with hiked tariffs on wine and cognac, while Germany saw new levies on aeronautic parts.

"The Commission takes note of today's entry into force of U.S. tariffs arising from the WTO Airbus case on aircraft subsidies," a statement said. 

The EU executive handles trade matters for the bloc's 27 member states.

"As we have made clear before, we regret that the United States chose to add further EU products to its retaliation list," it said.

The EU is "looking forward to engage constructively with the new U.S. administration to resolve this long lasting dispute as part of a renewed transatlantic agenda", it added. 

French wine and sprits exporters believe the new tariffs will cost the sector one billion euros in sales, with the cognac business especially punished. 

In its last days in office, the Trump administration is blowing hot and cold on trade issues with the Europeans.

Washington last week suspended a plan to impose new tariffs on $1.3 billion in French products in a dispute over a digital services tax.