Trump slams EU in aircraft dispute, pushes tariffs on $11 bln of imports

For more than 14 years, the US and the EU have accused each other of unfairly subsidizing Boeing and Airbus in a tit-for-tat dispute. (AFP)
Updated 09 April 2019
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Trump slams EU in aircraft dispute, pushes tariffs on $11 bln of imports

  • ‘“This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action,’ said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
  • The Boeing-Airbus spat is the longest and most complicated dispute dealt with by the WTO

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States would impose tariffs on $11 billion of products from the European Union, a day after US trade officials proposed a list of EU products to target as part of an ongoing aircraft dispute.
“The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products! The EU has taken advantage of the US on trade for many years. It will soon stop!” Trump said in a post on Twitter.
The two sides have been locked in a years-long global trade dispute over mutual claims of illegal aid to plane giants, Netherlands-based Airbus and US-based Boeing, to gain advantage in the world jet business.
The US Trade Representative on Monday announced the planned products targeted in retaliation for European aircraft subsidies, with a final list expected this summer.
Meanwhile, the EU has started preparing to retaliate over Boeing subsidies, an EU official said on Tuesday.
The moves comes as the record subsidy dispute, which has been grinding its way through the WTO for almost 15 years, reaches a climax, with both sides in arbitration to decide the size of any countermeasures.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 28 min 5 sec ago
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.