After WTO decision, USTR announces additional duties on select EU imports effective October 18th

While the dispute between the United States and the European Union has raged for years at the World Trade Organization, a final decision by a WTO arbitrator on Wednesday paved the way for the USTR to announce a raft of punitive duties on imports from certain EU countries effective October 18th.

The abbreviated version of the matter is that the United States brought the issue of unfair subsidies by EU member countries to aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE to the WTO. Over time, as the dispute wended its way through the decision making and appeal process, the U.S. changed administrations and in July, USTR Lighthizer published a preliminary list of HTS numbers and punitive duties.

With the final decision by the WTO made official on October 2nd, the administration swiftly announced their planned imposition of retaliatory duties on $7.5 billion in European imports – admitted mostly on aircraft and parts for Airbus – setting up a certain response from the European Union as a claim by the EU about U.S. subsidies to Boeing moves along.

Slated to take effect on October 18th, the list varies in additional percentage and country of origin, but Brauner International customers should be aware of the following key products, origins and duty rates:

  • 25% additional duty on whiskeys from Scotland
  • 25% additional duty on coffee from Germany
  • 25% additional duty on biscuits, waffles and wafers from Germany and the United Kingdom
  • 25% additional duty on products such as cheeses, olives and wine from countries including the UK, France, Spain, Italy and other member countries.

Brauner has already been working with clients who have been dealing with the issue of additional Section 301 duties and how it impacts their continuous bonds and duty payments. While we have not yet been advised whether or not an exclusion process will be available to importers of affected products similar to the China 301 duties, we are paying close attention to the issue on behalf of our clients.

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