MADRID (Reuters) – Spain “rejects fully” US tariffs on a range of EU products and while it would prefer a negotiated solution it will press for strong counter measures if the tariffs are confirmed, the acting government said in a statement on Friday.
“If the US government rejects this offer of dialogue on the part of Spain and the European Union, the Spanish government will react immediately with strength and clarity to defend the interests of our citizens and companies,” the government said.
Madrid said it was willing to act as an intermediary in negotiations between the bloc and the US but if this is not successful it will call for the reactivation of tariffs from a 2004 WTO dispute won by the EU, which it says are worth more than 4 billion euros.
Spain estimates the duties, which the United States said on Wednesday it would slap on products including wine and cheese as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies, will affect around 1 billion euros of exports a year.
(Reporting by Sam Edwards)