Another trade dispute is brewing between the United States and Europe.
In a notice shared late Tuesday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it could slap tariffs worth about $3.1 billion on an “additional list” of imports from the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France. The goods include some sweaters, suits, loungewear and swimwear, as well as machinery, tools and certain foods.
“In connection with this review, the U.S. Trade Representative is considering modifying the list of products of certain current or former EU member-states that currently are subject to additional duties,” read the filing. (The agency is permitting public comment until July 26.)
The move marks the latest development in the longstanding trade battle between the U.S. and the EU, which arose over subsidies to major civil aircraft companies in both nations.
Last fall, the World Trade Organization gave the U.S. permission to impose levies worth roughly $7.5 billion on the EU — primarily targeting airliner manufacturer Airbus, but also hitting British-made apparel and accessories as well as a variety of food and beverages hailing from other European countries. Some companies that were expected to bear the brunt of the tariffs were luxury conglomerates: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, for instance, houses both fashion labels based in the U.K., like Nicholas Kirkwood, as well as a mix of wine and spirits brands, such as the France-based Château Cheval Blanc and Moët & Chandon.
The WTO is also expected to grant similar tariff rights to the EU over the U.S. government’s support of aviation giant Boeing.
The financial feud also come during a period of tension between the U.S. and China: Over the past four years, import taxes have been a significant focus for President Donald Trump, who has promised to resurrect U.S. manufacturing by slapping steep duties on foreign competitors, mostly China. In mid-January, the American president and China’s President Xi Jinping struck a truce, but doubts over the future of that deal have been at a high since Washington accused Beijing of mishandling the coronavirus outbreak — which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan — and contributing to a global economic fallout.