The European Union (EU) said on Monday it has agreed to impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of American goods and services over illegal US government support for plane maker Boeing.

“The US has imposed their tariffs following the WTO [World Trade Organization] ruling in [the] Airbus case, now we have a WTO ruling also in Boeing, allowing us to impose our tariffs, and that’s what we are doing,” EU Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters.

He added: “Of course, we remain open for a negotiated solution. Our proposal remains on the table that both sides withdraw their tariffs.” According to Dombrovskis, despite several appeals, “so far, the US has not agreed to withdraw their tariffs.”

The announcement comes after international arbitrators last month gave the world’s biggest trade bloc the green light to target US goods over Boeing subsidies. Earlier, the WTO authorized the United States to slap penalties on EU goods worth up to $7.5 billion over EU support for Boeing’s European rival Airbus. 

In October 2019, Washington imposed a 10 percent tariff on most European-made Airbus jets and duties of 25 percent on a list of EU products, ranging from cheese and olives to whiskey. The EU last month released a preliminary list that suggests it could go after a wide range of US products including frozen fish and shellfish, dried fruit, tobacco, rum and vodka, handbags, motorcycle parts and tractors.

The transatlantic legal battle over aircraft subsidies began in 2004, when the US government accused Britain, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to support Airbus. At the same time, the EU filed a similar complaint about US subsidies for Boeing.

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