BRUSSELS has threatened to slap new tariffs on ketchup and games consoles in a further escalation of its trade row with Donald Trump.
Eurocrats unveiled a list of more than 800 US products that could be hit with £16.5bn of import taxes as part of a tit-for-tat industrial dispute.
Brussels has threatened to slap new tariffs on ketchup and games consoles in a further escalation of its trade row with Donald Trump.[/caption]
The measures could lead to Brits paying higher prices in the shops for everyday foods as well as imported alcohol and items like suitcases.
Frozen fish and seafood, wine and cheese, sweet potatoes, nuts, and fruit juices are among the staple goods listed.
Brussels and the US have been embroiled in a bitter 14-year battle at the WTO over subsidisation of their rival aircraft markers Airbus and Boeing.
EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said: “European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms. But we do not want a tit-for-tat.
“Dialogue is what should prevail between important partners such as the EU and the US, including in bringing an end to this long-standing dispute.
LIST MADE UP OF ITEMS WITH A ‘POSSIBLE SOLUTION’
“The EU remains open for discussions with the US, provided these are without preconditions and aim at a fair outcome.”
An EU official insisted that European consumers “shouldn’t be radically affected” if the new tariffs come into force.
They said: “Our list is comprised of products where there is a possible substitution, where US supply is limited.
“We’re not in favour of a trade war, we are not looking for a trade war, they’re bad.
“We’re confident if there is good faith on both sides a solution can be found and we won’t be forced into the extremity of having tariffs on both sides.”
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The list of products drawn up by eurocrats is preliminary and some could be removed after consulting with businesses and consumer groups.
The WTO court has already ruled that both the EU and the US each illegally subsidised their own flagship aircraft maker.
Its judges will decide in Autumn on the exact volume of tariffs the EU can apply to US products as a “rebalancing measure” against Boeing subsidies.
Mr Trump has already announced his own £8.5bn list of EU products to be targeted, including Spanish olives and French Roquefort cheese.
A final decision on what level of import taxes Washington can levy on Europe in response to state support for Airbus will be made in July.
Brits could soon be paying more for their ketchup if new tariffs are applied[/caption]
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