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Trump admin announces planned tariffs on $11 billion in EU goods over Airbus subsidies


Subsidies reportedly given to Airbus were unfair to American aviation companies like Boeing

Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

The Trump administration has threatened to slap tariffs on $11 billion worth of imports from the European Union, in retaliation for subsidies that the EU reportedly gave to Airbus.

What's the story?

Airbus is headquartered in Toulouse, France, and also has locations in the United States, including engineering centers in Wichita, Kansas, and Mobile, Alabama, a training center in Miami, and headquarters in Herndon and Ashburn, Virginia.

According to a news release from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, these new tariffs were in response to subsidies that the EU — along with member states France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, have given to Airbus. These subsidies, the news release argued, were unfair to American aviation companies, including Boeing.

The amount of goods covered by the tariffs will have to be approved this summer by the World Trade Organization before it can take effect. These proposed tariffs would target aircraft, as well as certain types of clothing, fish, shellfish, olive oil, wine, and a wide range of cheeses, including roquefort, cheddar, gruyère, stilton, colby, edam, and gouda.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that the EU tariffs had "adversely impacted the United States" and that the EU had "taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years."

What else?

Trump is an outspoken fan of tariffs, calling them "the greatest" in a July 24 tweet.

He has also been a strong critic of the EU, saying at a rally in June 2018 that "the European Union, of course, was set up to take advantage of the United States. To attack our piggy bank."

Critics of Trump's tariffs policy point out that tariffs are paid by the consumer, meaning that U.S. importers will generally have to pay higher prices for goods imported from the EU rather than these costs being paid by the exporter.

In 2018, Trump's tariffs and Chinese retaliatory tariffs hurt American farmers enough that the federal government decided to give them a $12 billion bailout.

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