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EU says U.S. tariffs linked to Airbus would be counterproductive

EU says U.S. tariffs linked to Airbus would be counterproductive
FILE PHOTO: Logo of Airbus is pictured at the aircraft builder's headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau -
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday that a U.S. move to impose trade sanctions on EU imports would be short-sighted and counterproductive and risked causing damage on both sides of the Atlantic.

The World Trade Organization has granted the United States the right to target $7.5 billion (£6.12 billion) per year of EU imports over illegal subsidies paid to Airbus <AIR.PA>. In a parallel case, the European Union has also requested the right to take measures over subsidies to Boeing <BA.N>, with a WTO decision due next year.

The Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 28-nation EU, said that the mutual imposition of countermeasures would only inflict harm on businesses and people on both sides of the Atlantic. It said the two sides should reach a fair settlement.

“But if the U.S. decides to impose WTO authorised countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than do the same,” the Commission said in a statement.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)

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