Department for International Trade
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Update on Airbus dispute

The United States has revised retaliatory tariffs on EU and UK products as part of a World Trade Organization dispute over subsidies to Airbus.

This includes:

  • An increase in the additional duty rate imposed on aircraft imported from the EU from 10% to 15%, effective Wednesday 18 March 2020.
  • The addition of an import duty of 25% on butchers knives from France and Germany, effective Thursday 5 March.
  • Continued tariffs of 25% on a range of non-aircraft products, including single malt whisky and biscuits.

The International Trade Secretary speaks frequently to the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and has been making the strong case for the US Government not to impose further tariffs, including in a call recently (14 February 2020).

We are deeply disappointed by the continued application of retaliatory tariffs under the Airbus dispute, which harm UK and US industries and the decision by the United States Trade Representative to increase these on aircraft.

The UK maintains that it is now compliant with WTO rules on this issue and secured full repayment of the A350 loan with interest.

We will continue to work with other Airbus nations, France, Germany and Spain, and the EU on a negotiated settlement, and on the use of Boeing retaliatory rights as and when awarded.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss recently said:

The additional tariffs on aircraft announced by United States Trade Representative are not in the interests of the UK or the US, and I have made this point directly to my counterpart in Washington.

We call on the US to engage in detailed discussions at pace to reach a negotiated settlement, before tariffs are authorised and imposed on the US in relation to the ongoing Boeing dispute.

We are working hard to ensure a resolution as soon as possible.


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