U.S. hits Scotch whisky, Italian cheese, French wine with 25% tariffs

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By Alastair Jamieson  & Reuters
U.S. hits Scotch whisky, Italian cheese, French wine with 25% tariffs
Copyright  REUTERS

The Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on a slew of European goods including French wine, Italian cheese and single-malt Scotch whisky late Wednesday in retaliation for EU subsidies on aircraft.

It came after the United States Trade Representative won approval to impose import tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European goods over the subsidies, handed to Airbus.

The move threatens to trigger a tit-for-tat transatlantic trade war as the global economy falters.

The full list of tariff targets includes UK-made cashmere items, olives from France, Germany and Spain, EU-produced pork sausage and other pork products other than ham, and German coffee.

The new tariffs are to take effect as early as October 18.

The USTR said the World Trade Organization ruling was a "significant victory" for the United States.

The world's two largest planemakers have waged a war of attrition over subsidies at the WTO since 2004 in a dispute that has tested the trade policeman's influence and is expected to set the tone for competition from would-be rivals from China.

The WTO had already found that both Europe's Airbus and its U.S. rival Boeing received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies in the world's largest corporate trade dispute.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision would weigh on the European planemaker, which is one of Germany's largest industrial employers and is headquartered in France.

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