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U.S. Decides Not to Increase Retaliatory Tariffs in Airbus-Boeing Dispute

Feb. 16, 2021
By: Navpreet K. Moonga


In the latest development of the Airbus-Boeing retaliatory tariff measures between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice on February 12, 2021 stating that no action will be taken to increase tariffs against the EU. The notice states that the USTR determines that “it is unnecessary at this time to revise the action in the Section 301 investigation.”

The retaliatory tariffs between the US and the EU were a result of the long-standing World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes regarding large civil aircraft subsidies being provided to Boeing and Airbus, respectively. Under Section 306 of the Trade Act of 1974 (Trade Act), the USTR is able to periodically review and revise the list of goods that are subject to duties imposed, as a result of WTO Dispute Settlement Body recommendation for WTO non-compliance. Section 306 of the Trade Act also includes an exception stating that the USTR is not required to revise the list of retaliation duties where there is agreement with the US industry that it would be “unnecessary” to do so.

Thus, the notice confirms that the USTR and US industry affected but the WTO non-compliance determine that it is unnecessary to revise the retaliation tariff list imposed against the EU at this time. Further, the USTR “will continue to consider the action taken” in the investigation.

If you have any questions or would like more information about retaliatory tariffs, and US trade with the EU, contact an attorney at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn LLP.