The European Union has officially started imposing tariffs on US$3.99 billion worth of U.S. products exported to Europe in retaliation for the violation of US subsidies to Boeing. The European Commission’s Executive Vice President Donbrowskis said that the EU is always willing to negotiate a settlement of its aviation subsidy dispute with the United States, but because the United States has not done so, the EU can only implement countermeasures.
How did the 16-year dispute get to this point? EU complains that “the United States does not want to talk”
The US-Europe aviation industry subsidy dispute has lasted 16 years and is the longest such dispute since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.
In 2004, the WTO ruled successively that both the United States and the European Union had problems providing illegal subsidies to their respective aviation companies. In October last year, the World Trade Organization authorized the United States to impose tariffs and other retaliatory measures against approximately US$7.5 billion of EU products exported to the United States each year.
Last month, the WTO authorized the European Union to impose tariffs on US$3.99 billion worth of US exports to the EU every year. The European Union subsequently sought to negotiate with the United States, proposing that both sides cancel punitive tariffs at the same time. But so far, the United States has not agreed to the EU’s negotiation requirements.
After announcing the tax increase measures, the European Commission Executive Vice President Donbrowskis emphasized that the EU still hopes to resolve differences through negotiations, and the removal of punitive tariffs between the two parties will be a “win-win” move.
Eastbrovskys: “The door to negotiate to resolve the issue is still open. We call on the United States to agree to both parties immediately abandon the countermeasures they are implementing in order to quickly resolve this issue. The removal of tax increases is a win-win for both parties. We now have the opportunity to restart transatlantic cooperation and work together towards a common goal.”
So, will the EU’s countermeasures prompt the United States to sit at the negotiating table, or will it further intensify trade disputes between Europe and the US? This has aroused widespread public opinion.
US Trade Representative Lighthizer warned last month that any countermeasures taken by the EU would “force the United States to respond.” US President Trump threatened to “perform a tougher counterattack.” Reuters reported in the report that the US$7.5 billion product quota for the WTO ruled by the United States to impose tariffs on the EU has not yet been exhausted. The US government may also increase taxes on any EU products exported to the United States or expand the tax list.
The New York Times reported that even though the trade representatives of the European and American sides expressed their reluctance to see a trade war, one stumbling block is that the Trump administration has been demanding that Europe repay the subsidies previously received by Airbus, while the WTO ruling only requires that the current “Illegal financial support” instead of repaying previous subsidies.
“America First” angers Germany, France, and the White House to “cross the line” in Europe with tax increases
In fact, the trade dispute is only a tear in the growing rift in European-American relations during the Trump administration.
In August of this year, the U.S. government decided to maintain tariffs on Airbus and EU products, but with adjustments, the focus of tax increases was tilted toward products exported to the United States from Germany and France. The German media believed that this was a “punishment” imposed by the United States on Germany and France, while French officials said they might take countermeasures.
Some public opinion believes that this is because the United States intends to “draw lines” on European countries based on close relations , because the United States has intensified its conflicts with Germany over issues such as the withdrawal of US troops in Germany and sanctions on the “North Stream 2” natural gas pipeline project. It has conflicts with France on other issues, and its unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and WHO’s breach of contract and withdrawal from the group have caused public outrage in the EU, especially in the two major countries of Germany and France.
According to a report by the US “politician” (Politico) news website, the French government last month suspended a US$7 billion contract between a French company and a US LNG exporter because the import of US LNG may harm the EU’s response to climate change. s hard work.
Is it possible to repair the four-year crack? Experts think it’s not easy
Today, the differences between the United States and its traditional European allies cover almost all important areas such as trade, politics, military, and security. The Trump administration’s wanton waving of the sanctions stick of unilateralism has particularly disappointed and dissatisfied Europe, which supports multilateralism.
Cui Hongjian, director of the European Institute of the China Institute of International Studies, analyzed that the contradictions between the United States and Europe mainly stem from the differences in the interests of the two sides and the conflicts in concepts and behaviors.
Cui Hongjian: “The United States and Europe have relatively large conflicts in the pattern of interests and the distribution of interests. For example, in the economic and trade field, the Trump administration does not want to see Europe share more interests from the United States; at the same time in the diplomatic, security and political fields.
The Trump administration emphasizes the “America first” and uses more unilateral pressure to solve problems, while the European side hopes to solve problems through multilateral negotiations and international organizations.
Therefore, both sides have concepts and behaviors in these areas . The conflict between the two parties has led to a trend of deepening and expansion of the contradiction between the two sides .”
United States, “Atlantic Monthly,” London-based editor Tom Mike Tagg recently wrote an article in the journal pointed out that, over the past four years, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and London have formed a kind of “memory”, that is, in the gas climate change on issues such as trade and , Europe not only needs to cooperate with the United States, but also to confront it.
Euractiv a comprehensive European news website, quoted Suda David-Wilp, a researcher at the American public policy research group, the German Marshall Foundation, and reported that it was tortured by the U.S. government’s crude foreign policy. Years later, “the transatlantic partnership is actually maintained by life support equipment . “
Cui Hongjian believes that in the face of increasing contradictions, it is no easy task for the United States and Europe to repair transatlantic relations.
Cui Hongjian: “For the restoration of transatlantic relations, Europe has always had such an expectation, but as the contradictions between Europe and the United States continue to increase and expand, I feel that the European side has almost lost confidence in the Trump administration recently.
There are profound and complex structural reasons behind the emergence, so no matter who is in power in the United States in the future, he will have to face the long-term and inherent contradictions between Europe and the United States, and it is by no means the next US government will be able to do so in a short time. Set to resolve it. “