U.S. passes punitive taxes on Airbus planes from 10% to 15%

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Starting March 18, the United States increases punitive taxes on Airbus aircraft. Washington had taken this step last October, in retaliation for the subsidies received by the European aircraft manufacturer.

The United States announced on Friday (February 14th) that it will raise the customs taxes imposed on Airbus planes imported from Europe to 15% from March 18, according to a press release from the US Trade Representative (USTR).

These taxes have been 10% since last October, when the US government decided to hit $ 7.5 billion in European products from punitive tariffs.

Originally, Washington had taken this action in retaliation for subsidies received by the European aircraft manufacturer, deemed undue by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Other products – including wine, cheese, coffee and olives – have been taxed at 25% since October.

In October, Delta Air Lines, a US company customer of Airbus, deplored these sanctions, believing that the tariffs would cause “serious damage to American airlines, to the millions of Americans they employ and to travelers”.

Instrument of negotiation

But Donald Trump also uses these taxes as a negotiating tool.

After months of trade war with China, with reciprocal punitive tariffs, he exclaimed “our strategy paid off” when the two countries signed an agreement in mid-January.

His attention is now focused on Europe. Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, indeed announced at the end of January, after a meeting in Davos (Switzerland), their desire to relaunch the transatlantic trade site and to conclude an agreement in the coming weeks.

But for the moment, negotiations have not been successful and relations remain tense as the host of the White House still brandishes the threat of taxing imports of European cars, which particularly shakes German manufacturers.

On Monday, he said it was time to “very seriously” negotiate a trade agreement with the European Union. He wants EU member countries to open up their markets more to American products, especially agricultural products.

Recently, his administration has threatened to overtax “up to 100%” the equivalent of $ 2.4 billion in French products. Something to thrill winemakers, but also American importers of French wine, who, in a letter to the USTR estimated from 11,200 to 78,600 job losses in the United States if these threats were carried out.

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