Airbus regrets a “counterproductive” escalation

During the inauguration of the Airbus production site in Mobile, Alabama, September 14, 2015 (NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / Archives)

The imposition of additional customs duties announced Wednesday by the United States in the context of the old dispute between Boeing and Airbus is “counterproductive” for the American industry and testifies to a desire for “escalation” to which the ‘Europe must react, denounced Thursday the European aircraft manufacturer.

“The extension of tariffs (…) to include components of airplanes made in the United States – by American workers – is counterproductive in all respects. Airbus regrets that the USTR (the United States representative to the Commerce, ndr) has decided to escalate this conflict by taking a measure that also harms the manufacturing industry, workers and American consumers, “he said in a statement sent to AFP.

Three weeks from the end of its mandate, the Trump administration announced on the night of Wednesday to Thursday that it was preparing to impose additional customs duties on French and German products, non-sparkling wines and cognacs, aeronautical parts spared until then while complete planes are taxed at 15%.

Airbus has an assembly line for the A320 single-aisle aircraft in Mobile, Alabama, and another for the A220s.

Fuselage, tail and other aircraft parts imported from France and Germany will henceforth be subject to 15% customs duties, according to a list published by the USTR.

For Airbus, the American decision “will not help create a climate of confidence that will lead to a negotiated solution”.

The aircraft manufacturer is also said to be “convinced that Europe will react appropriately to defend its interests and those of all European companies and sectors, including Airbus, targeted by these unjustified and counterproductive tariffs”.

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US taxes will be added to those already imposed since 2019 on European imports such as wine, cheese, olive oil or whiskey, as well as on planes.

Washington had been authorized to do so by the World Trade Organization (WTO). And in October, the institution also authorized the EU to apply additional customs duties on products imported from the United States.

The two parties accuse each other, and for years, of supporting the two aeronautical giants in a way that violates the rules of fair competition of the WTO.

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