Trump warns of backlash if EU levies around $ 4 billion in tariffs after WTO ruling

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  • President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that the United States would “hit a lot harder” if the EU imposed around $ 4 billion in tariffs on American products.
  • The World Trade Organization ruled on Tuesday that the EU has the right to impose tariffs on around $ 4 billion in U.S. goods.
  • The WTO ruling is part of a 16-year-old dispute over Boeing subsidies.
  • The EU said this week that it may not impose tariffs yet, as it prefers to negotiate with the United States.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday he will “hit a lot harder” if the European Union imposes tariffs on American products after winning a World Trade Organization ruling earlier this week.

“If they hit back, then we’ll hit a lot harder than they hit. They don’t want to do anything, I can tell you that, ”Trump told reporters before boarding the Marine One helicopter ahead of other campaign rallies.

Tuesday’s WTO ruling is part of a trade dispute that has lasted for almost 16 years. The EU has long argued that government subsidies to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing were unfair.

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This week’s WTO allows the EU to respond to tariffs imposed by Washington after a similar ruling last October under which the United States obtained the appropriate tax rights on $ 7.5 billion of EU products, which affected aircraft parts and luxury goods due to their objections to EU government support. for rival aerospace group Airbus.

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Trade tensions between the EU and the US have deteriorated in recent years, in part due to Airbus and Boeing, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, accusing the other of receiving unfairly billions of dollars. government grant dollars.

Tuesday’s WTO ruling doesn’t necessarily mean the EU will definitely go ahead with tariffs. The European Chairman of the Committee on International Trade, Bernd Lange, reiterated this week after the ruling that he preferred a negotiated settlement on financial support for civilian aircraft.

But he warned that in the absence of “constructive” US engagement, even after the election, the EU will move forward with tariffs.

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