The United States is holding off on its threatened tariff hikes on European imports.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced on Wednesday that it would maintain the tariff rates of 15% on aircraft and 25% on more than a hundred products from Europe. Although it removed duties on some goods from Greece and the United Kingdom, Washington added levies to an equal amount of imports from France and Germany. Altogether, the orders still amount to roughly $7.5 billion worth of products.
Many fashion items will continue to be subject to tariffs: British-made apparel and accessories — including women’s and girls’ outerwear and swimwear, as well as men’s and boys’ suits and sweaters — will still be taxed at 25%. The USTR said the modifications will take effect on Sept. 1.
“The European Union and member states have not taken the actions necessary to come into compliance with World Trade Organization decisions,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. “The U.S., however, is committed to obtaining a long-term resolution to this dispute.”
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He added, “Accordingly, the U.S. will begin a new process with the EU in an effort to reach an agreement that will remedy the conduct that harmed the U.S. aviation industry and workers and will ensure a level playing field for U.S. companies.”
The trade battle between the U.S. and the EU 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 fashion products 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.