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United States Responds to European Union Tariff Announcement

November 09, 2020

Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer responded to the announcement by the European Union today imposing tariffs on certain products from the United States.  

“The United States is disappointed by the action taken by the EU today,” Ambassador Lighthizer stated.  “The alleged subsidy to Boeing was repealed seven months ago.  The EU has long proclaimed its commitment to following WTO rules, but today’s announcement shows they do so only when convenient to them.”   


As part of a 16-year-old litigation involving large civil aircraft, the EU alleged that a certain Washington State tax provision benefited Boeing.  In response to a WTO panel decision, Washington State unambiguously repealed this tax provision on April 1, 2020.  Under such circumstances, a WTO member cannot unilaterally impose retaliatory tariffs on a trading partner.  

The USTR is in negotiations with the EU with the hope of resolving this longstanding dispute relating to large civil aircraft.