President Donald Trump is leaning into a trade war with the European Union. In response to EU subsidies to Airbus SE (a rival of the embattled U.S. company Boeing), the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday proposed new tariffs on $11 billion worth of products—which include beloved French wine and cheese.
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“The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has [sic] adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products!” tweeted the president on Tuesday morning. “The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!”
While the EU is preparing retaliatory tariffs on Boeing, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday his government was working with its counterpart “to reach a friendly agreement.” Publicly, however, Trump has a history of threatening the French with tariffs—and it is up to him whether to pursue a similar trade war like he has with China.
“On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S.,” tweeted the president last fall after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. “The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!
Investigators have been tasked with finding potential software flaws in Boeing’s planes following a crash in March which killed 157 passengers onboard.