Bring it on: EU ready to slap US with tariffs over Airbus-Boeing row

The European Union is ready to impose retaliatory tariffs next year on US goods, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. They will be part of a long-running dispute over subsidies to plane makers Airbus and Boeing.

“Trade wars are good for no one,” Le Maire told reporters Thursday when talking about the damage caused worldwide by the US-China trade conflict.

He said that Europe is bracing for possible US sanctions over the plane subsidy dispute, and that “Americans should know that we are ready to react.”

The minister added he was pushing for a “friendly agreement” with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Washington and Brussels have been involved in a long-running dispute, accusing each other of providing illegal subsidies to their respective flagship plane makers and thus allowing the companies to benefit from state assistance.

US President Donald Trump threatened to slap $11 billion worth of goods from the EU with import tariffs after the World Trade Organization (WTO) found that EU subsidies to Airbus cause “adverse effects” to the US.

The WTO ruled in May that Europe illegally subsidized Airbus, hurting US competitor Boeing. The European Union has brought a similar case to the WTO, accusing the US government of illegally subsidizing Boeing.