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European Union countries agree to start formal trade talks with US

European Union countries agree to start formal trade talks with US

If given the go-ahead by European Union ministers, the commission could enter trade negotiations with the United States with the intention of avoiding USA tariffs on imports of European Union vehicles and auto parts.

"I think the trade war with China is winding down to a truce, and Trump's focus in the summer and fall will be the EU, Mexico and the USMCA deal (the signed but not ratified US-Mexico-Canada Agreement)", said Hufbauer.

"In line with USA law, the preliminary list contains a number of products in the civil aviation sector, including Airbus aircraft", it added.

Should they materialize, the new tariffs will be in retaliation for what the United States has long claimed are illegal subsidies to Airbus and cap a 14-year fight between Boeing and its European rival at the World Trade Organization.

Envoys from the EU's 28 member states had struggled to agree on a mandate to open trans-Atlantic talks, with some fearing the revival of a trade war with President Donald Trump.

European Union countries gave initial clearance yesterday to start formal trade talks with the United States, EU sources said, a move designed but not guaranteed to smooth strained relations between the world's two largest economies.

Airbus said it saw no legal basis for the US move and warned of deepening transatlantic trade tensions.

"You are scaring a great deal of importers" who view the goods they bring into the U.S. on the target list, stated Hillman, who teaches law at Georgetown University. It will soon stop!'

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The Trump administration's list of European products to tax includes the types of helicopters and aircraft Airbus makes but also a wide range of European exports: famous cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort and Gouda, wines and oysters but also more obscure exports like ceramics, knives and pajamas.

Both sides have won partial victories at the World Trade Organisation in claiming the other's planemaker received unlawful subsidies but disagree on the amount involved and whether each has complied with earlier WTO rulings.

"We've never done tariffs on airplanes before", he noted.

"They just like to impose tariffs", Bown said.

If they go ahead, these proposed U.S. tariffs would be imposed in addition to existing levies on European products which came about past year after the United States began charging levies on imports of steel and aluminum from key allies including the EU.

While the size of the tariffs is small compared with the hundreds of billions the US and China are taxing in their trade war, it suggests a breakdown in talks with the European Union over trade.

The threatened US tariffs are in response to subsidies received by aircraft maker Airbus and target a host of European products including helicopters, aircraft parts and gouda cheese. The EU reacted with tariffs about 2.8 billion euros' worth ($3.4 billion) of US agricultural, steel and other products, from Harley Davidson bicycles to orange juice.

At 0950 GMT, Airbus shares were down 1.6 percent.


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