According to a statement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative at the end of last year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that from January 12, a maximum of 25% tariff will be imposed on some goods exported to the United States from France and Germany, involving aircraft parts, some non-bubbling wine, brandy and other commodities, with a total value of 75 sanctioned goods. Millions of dollars.
The U.S. move is a new round of retaliatory measures against the US-Europe aviation industry subsidy dispute.
The dispute over air subsidies between the United States and Europe began in 2004. The WTO has ruled that the United States and the European Union have the problem of providing illegal subsidies to their respective aviation enterprises.
In October 2019, the WTO authorized the United States to impose retaliation measures such as tariffs on about $7.5 billion a year on EU goods and services exported to the United States. In October 2020, the WTO officially authorized the EU to impose tariffs on goods and services from the United States of no more than $3.99 billion a year.
“Trump left Europe with a poisonous farewell gift”
Walter Crusert, president of the Winemaking Association in the Moselle River Basin, a well-known German wine producing area, said recently that the United States imposed a 25% tariff on alcohol, which has caused great harm to local wine farmers.
German media called the United States’ tariff increase “Trump left Europe a poisonous farewell gift”.
According to the report, Trump did not successfully fulfill his election promise to reduce the trade deficit between the United States and other countries during his presidency.
The latest data shows that the U.S. trade deficit widened to $68.1 billion in November 2020, the highest since August 2006.
Therefore, Trump urgently needs to get the result of a trade policy that can be reached before the end of his term, and wants to force the EU to engage in dialogue and even consensus with the United States through pressure.
However, the German media admitted that the European Union hopes that after entering the White House, U.S.
President-elect Biden can negotiate with the EU in a more cooperative and positive manner, so as to reach an agreement on resolving the relevant trade dispute between the two sides this year.
“It will cause unacceptable losses to French exporters”
Following the decision of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to impose tariffs, four government departments, including the French Ministry of Economy, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and Eco-Transformation and Solidarity, issued a joint statement condemning the United States’ move.
The statement said that the imposition of tariffs on French and German goods will cause the total punitive tariffs imposed by the United States to exceed the WTO mandate, causing unacceptable damage to European exporters, especially French wine and spirits and exporters in the aviation industry
The statement said that the U.S. move unilaterally interrupted the negotiations between the European Union and the United States on the 15-year-old aviation subsidy dispute.
At a time when the economies of the United States and Europe have been hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic, the United States has made this “illegal decision”.
The Federation of French Wine and Spirit Exporters predicts that the imposition of tariffs by the United States will cost the profits of the French wine industry more than 1 billion euros.
European Airbus also said that the decision of the Office of the United States Trade Representative will escalate the conflict between the two sides and will also harm the interests of American manufacturing, industrial workers and consumers.
“American bullying will damage the global economic recovery”
Jiang Yuechun, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said in an interview with Global Information Broadcasting that the reason why the United States is targeting French and German products this time is mainly because France and Germany account for the largest share of the trade volume between the United States and Europe.
Germany is not only the largest economic power in the EU, but also accounts for a large share of export trade in Europe as a whole, so it accounts for the largest share of exports from the United States.
In recent years, France’s move to tighten the collection of digital taxes on IT companies in Europe, especially giant IT companies, has aroused dissatisfaction in the United States.
The trade dispute between the United States and the European Union has lasted for many years, and has been particularly obvious in recent years.
Jiang Yuechun believes that as a super mercantist, US President Trump regards international trade as inferior and always believes that there are unfair factors in foreign trade activities involving the United States, so he emphasizes the imposition of tariffs on all countries.
Shortly after Trump took office, he imposed high tariffs on European products, and European countries subsequently sued the WTO for support to impose tariffs on American exports to Europe.
Trade disputes between the two sides continue to escalate. Trump took retaliatory measures to impose tariffs on European products in the final stage of his term.
Experts said that the dispute between Europe and the United States in the field of aircraft and related parts has a long history, and there is a deep grievance between Airbus and Boeing.
The United States has always been angry about European government subsidies. Therefore, this trade friction between Europe and the United States may actually continue in the future.
This round of US-Europe trade friction is obviously the first trade war initiated by the United States.
This kind of foreign trade bullying also exists in the United States against other economies.
The current COVID-19 epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to the global economy. At this time, the United States imposed tariffs on some products of France and Germany, which is obviously detrimental to the economic recovery of the two countries.
Moreover, any trade friction will have a negative impact on all participants, which can only have a two-loss effect.
At the same time, because the United States and Europe are the world’s major economies, they will also have a negative impact on the global economy.