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EU presses ahead with plan to levy retaliatory tariffs on around $4 billion worth of US goods

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By Bryan Carter
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Despite the results of the presidential election, the EU shows no sign of backing down in its trade dispute with the United States.

This Monday it announced it would levy $4 billion (€3.4 billion) worth of tariffs on US exports to the EU in retaliation for the American taxes on EU goods worth $7.5 billion (€6.3 billion).

EU trade ministers today discussed the move at a videoconference.

These tit-for-tat measures are the result of a long-running dispute between the two sides over subsidies to their main aerospace manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus.

Last year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the EU was breaching international trade rules by helping Airbus and granted the right for the US to impose tariffs on EU goods.

Last month, the WTO ruled in the opposite way, claiming Washington provided state subsidies to Boeing and that the EU could also begin imposing new tariffs.

But for some analysts, the EU's decision won't directly affect the US economy and will instead force both sides to sit at the negotiating table — a task many in the EU believe will be easier with Joe Biden than with Donald Trump.

Across the Channel, where the government is actively negotiating a trade deal with the US, the election of Joe Biden has seemingly not changed anything.

"I'm a keen student of United States trade policy and you know, they're tough negotiators and I've never believed that this was something that was going to be complete pushover under any US administration," Prime Minister Boris Johnson told The Associated Press on Sunday.

"I think there's a good chance that we'll do something, (Trade Secretary) Liz Truss and her team are making good progress," he added.