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Trump's hawkish tariff strategy to severely affect Italian products

Max Civili 
Press TV, Rome

In 2018 aircraft subsidies paid by the EU to aerospace giant Airbus were ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization, ending this way a 15-year legal battle.

But that made European companies trading with the US justifiably concerned.

The WTO ruling had granted Washington permission to tax as much as 7.5 billion dollars of European exports annually. A year later the Office of the United States Trade Representative issued a long list of Europe-made goods subjected to a 25% tariff.

Many expected the US to place the bulk of its retaliatory tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the four countries responsible for the illegal subsidies.

However countries that were not involved in the Airbus dispute like Italy bore the brunt of the Trump administration's hawkish tariff strategy.

More than 450 Italian companies, manufacturers and trade associations have formed an alliance called The American Italian Food Coalition to protect their trade interests in the US. The coalition believes Trump's tariffs have disproportionately affected Italy and is urging Washington against punishing certain Italian products with unjustified sanctions.

The WTO is also to pronounce on illegal subsidies worth billions of dollars under the form of tax breaks granted by the US to its aircraft maker Boeing. However the WTO’s ability to resolve trade disputes between countries has been restricted by the Trump administration.

Trump has blocked the WTO judges’ reappointment because the court refused to quickly rule in favor of Washington during a trade dispute between China and the US last year.

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