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Against friends: U.S. cleared to slap $7.5bn in tariffs on EU

Christian Fernsby |
The United States got the green light to slap $7.5 billion in new tariffs on the European Union.

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Topics: U.S.    TARIFFS   

The World Trade Organization said the U.S. can impose the tariffs as retaliation for illegal aid that the 28-country EU gave to plane-maker Airbus as it competed with American rival Boeing.

The move, culminating a 15-year standoff, gives the Trump administration the legal cover to impose tariffs it has long threatened, escalating uncertainty for the economy at a time when the U.S. trade war with China is weighing heavily on businesses, particularly manufacturers.

Stock markets around the world, which were already down on concerns for the world economy, added to their losses on the news.

The U.S. had prepared for Wednesday’s ruling and already drawn up lists of the dozens of goods it would put tariffs on. They include EU cheeses, olives, and whiskey, as well as planes, helicopters and aircraft parts in the case _ though the decision is likely to require fine-tuning of that list if the Trump administration agrees to go for the tariffs.

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