Washington [US], October 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The European Union has no lawful basis to impose tariffs on imports from the United States, the Office of US Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement Tuesday, adopting one of several WTO decisions that allowed the EU to tax Boeing planes and other US-made goods.
"The World Trade Organization issued an arbitration decision today that leaves the European Union with no lawful basis to impose tariffs on imports from the United States," the USTR statement said. "The EU sought the right to impose countermeasures relating to NASA and Department of Defense research and development subsidies, but the WTO arbitrator rejected that request."
The USTR noted that the EU also sought the right to impose countermeasures relating to the Washington State Business & Occupation tax rate reduction.
"The WTO arbitrator explicitly did not take into consideration Washington State's repeal of that tax provision on April 1 of this year, limiting its review to the impact during the 2012-15 period, to which it assigned a value of approximately $4 billion per year," the release said.
Regardless of the USTR position, the World Trade Organization ruled on Tuesday that the European Union may impose tariffs on $3.99 billion in Boeing Co. jets and other U.S. goods annually as part of a long-running trade dispute.
The ruling cleared the way for the EU to respond to tariffs that the trade body last October authorized the U.S. to impose on $7.5 billion in Airbus SE jets and other imported European products, the largest arbitration award in WTO history.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said pursuant to the WTO decision, the United States was determined to find a resolution to a dispute that could do harm to US aerospace workers and businesses. "We are waiting for a response from the EU to a recent US proposal and will intensify our ongoing negotiations with the EU to restore fair competition and a level playing field to this sector," Lighthizer said. "While we disagree with certain aspects of its valuation, the more important point is that the arbitrator did not authorize any retaliation for subsidies other than the Washington State tax break."
The US-EU dispute is the longest in WTO's history. In 2004, the United States took European countries to the WTO over subsidies to Airbus. Europe responded soon after with a case against US support for Boeing. (ANI/Sputnik)