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U.S. imposes tariffs on European Union goods

U.S. imposes tariffs on European Union goods”

"This is a hostile act between allies", Le Maire told reporters on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

He also warned the USA against starting another front in its trade conflicts and again called for a negotiated solution.

"Hitting these winemakers is profoundly unfair and incomprehensible from our American ally", said Le Maire, who was due to meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later on Friday.

The Europeans advocate negotiation over conflict and expect the WTO next year will authorize the EU to retaliate against the United States in a parallel case over subsidies for Airbus' American competitor Boeing.

At a time when the global economy is slowing, "I think that our responsibility is to do our best to avoid that kind of conflict", Le Maire said.

The tariffs come after almost 15 years of dispute between the US and Airbus.

The tariffs went into effect Friday setting widespread taxes on European agricultural goods, as well as, aircraft company Airbus.

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The WTO on Monday formally gave the United States the go-ahead to impose the trade sanctions, in retaliation for improper financial subsidies for Airbus.

The Europeans fear above all that Mr Trump will impose heavy duties on imports of European cars around mid-next month.

U.S. President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials have recently downplayed tensions with Brussels, raising the prospect that they could once again delay threatened national security tariffs against European cars.

The US leader and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed in July previous year to a ceasefire in the conflict and to hold trade talks that have so far led nowhere.

In its ruling, which dealt a crushing blow to already-fragile US-EU trade relations, the WTO said that Washington could impose trade sanctions worth $7.5 billion annually on the bloc.

The tariff hike will impact on US$7.5 billion (AU$10.9 billion) worth of imported goods produced in countries within the European Union, with France, Spain, Germany and Britain hit hardest, penalised the most as stakeholders in Airbus.

The two cases were then tangled up in a legal quagmire, with each side being given partial vindication after a long series of appeals and counter appeals.



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