Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Airbus ‘deeply regrets’ tariff hike

Airbus ‘deeply regrets’ tariff hike

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Industry executives in Europe and the United States are on tenterhooks awaiting each new announcement from trade authorities. ERIC PIERMONT/AFP

Airbus ‘deeply regrets’ tariff hike

The US is increasing tariffs on Airbus planes imported from Europe to 15 per cent, authorities announced, in a move the aerospace giant said on Saturday was “deeply” regrettable.

Friday’s decision to hike tariffs from March 18 “further escalates trade tensions between the US and the EU”, the European aerospace giant said in a statement, adding that it creates “more instability for US airlines that are already suffering from a shortage of aircraft”.

The announcement from the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) came just days after President Donald Trump said it was time to talk “very seriously” about a trade deal with the EU.

Duties have been at 10 per cent since October, when Washington hit European products worth $7.5 billion with tariffs.

“Airbus deeply regrets USTR’s decision to increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the EU as well as the decision to maintain tariffs on goods from other sectors,” the company said, referring to products – including wine, cheese, coffee and olives – which have been taxed at 25 per cent since October.

The latest decision “ignores the many submissions made by US airlines, highlighting the fact that they – and the US flying public – will ultimately have to pay these tariffs”, it added.

The European Commission, in a statement sent to AFP about the US decision on Airbus, struck a cautious tone.

“In our view, the focus now should be on finding a negotiated solution to the aircraft disputes on the basis of the concrete EU proposals for existing subsidies and future disciplines in this sector,” it said.

The German finance ministry said it had taken note of the US move, and reiterated its stance on tariffs.

“Our basic position is clear – we reject any unilateral increase in customs taxes.

“Customs taxes are ultimately harmful to everyone, including the USA,” it said in a statement.

Washington imposed punitive taxes on $7.5 billion in European products after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) gave the US the green light to take retaliatory trade measures against the EU over its subsidies to Airbus.

Industry executives in Europe and the US have been on tenterhooks awaiting each new announcement from trade authorities.

“It has become abundantly clear that tariffs on distilled spirits products are causing rough seas on both sides of the Atlantic,” the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said in a statement on Friday.

The council called on authorities to withdraw 25 per cent taxes on US whiskeys in the EU, and 25 per cent taxes on liquors imported from five European countries, pointing to fears of a negative impact on the US economy and jobs.

But Trump, a real estate developer turned politician, sees tariffs as a negotiating tool.

After a trade war with China that lasted nearly two years and featured punishing reciprocal tariffs, Trump signed a “phase one” trade deal with Beijing last month, calling it a “momentous step . . . righting the wrongs of the past”.

He has now turned his sights to Europe as Washington brandishes the threat of taxing European auto imports, a move targeting Germany, Europe’s biggest auto exporter.

Trump wants EU member states to further open their markets to US products, particularly agricultural goods.

He has also threatened to hike tariffs on French wine – currently taxed at 25 per cent – even further unless there is a deal on a digital tax which European nations want to impose on US giants such as Amazon and Facebook.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied