USTR allows comments on Section 301 duties on European Union

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting comments on further Section 301 duties against the EU under the WTO Airbus decision, which cleared the way for $7.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs because the EU illegally granted Airbus subsidies. Currently, the USTR is reviewing the tariffs on three different groups of products to determine if the tariffs should be continued and/or increased; if the tariffs should be added to products that were initially considered but weren’t added; and new products that are being considered for duties under this action. Comments are due before July 26, 2020, via the online portal.

In October 2019, the US first imposed the Section 301 tariffs against EU products such as airplanes and aircraft, agriculture, and cheese. The new items being looked at include wines, pork products, and olives; some of which were initially suggested but not taxed in the first set of Section 301s. The full text of the USTR notice on the review with comprehensive data on the items being considered can be found here.

The curious issue with the retaliatory tariffs is that there is a parallel case before the WTO regarding the U.S. giving the same sort of illegal subsidies to Boeing, which expected a decision this summer but has been put off due to COVID-19. It should be clear while we discuss these tariffs, we’re looking forward to a similar response from the EU when the WTO Boeing decision is finalized. The situation has been going back and forth between the US and EU since 2004, when The US and EU filed WTO complaints against each other for unfair subsidies. Reuters has a great timeline overview of the escalation and decisions in this case; find it here.

Because this is an on-going situation, we’ll continue to monitor this story as more information becomes available. We encourage leaving comments via the online portal if you’re products are being impacted by these tariffs, or if you have other issues you’d like to have considered. If you have questions regarding this action or would like to look into how this impacts your business, contact your Edward J. Zarach & Associates representative today.