Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.07 18 Oct 2019


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A new range of US tariffs have come into force on goods sold there from the European Union, including Ireland.

It is imposing tariffs of up to 25% on a variety of products - including butter, cheese, pork and liqueurs.

This includes Irish brands such as Kerrygold butter and Baileys liqueur.

Earlier this year, Kerrygold was found to be the number two butter brand in the US market.

The retaliatory move was made after the US won the largest arbitration award in World Trade Organisation (WTO) history, in a dispute with the EU over what it claims were "illegal subsidies" to Airbus.

The award of US$7.5bn (€6.84bn) annually is nearly twice the largest previous award.

The body calculated the amount based on WTO findings that EU aid for Airbus caused "significant lost sales" at its US rival Boeing - as well as impeding exports of Boeing large aircraft to the EU, Australia, China, Korea, Singapore, and UAE markets.

The tariffs are applied to a range of EU imports, with the bulk against those from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Kerrygold Butter of the brand Kerrygold is seen in Duesseldorf, Germany | Image: Federico Gambarini/DPA/PA Images

The US says this is because these four countries are "responsible for the illegal subsidies."

The tariff increases are limited to 10% on large civil aircraft and 25% on agricultural and other products.

However the US can increase the tariffs at any time, or change the products affected.

Under WTO rules, the decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Speaking earlier this month, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said: "For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our workers.

"Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU's illegal subsidies".

While the EU has previously said it would retaliate if the US imposed any targeted sanctions, and warned that a move to do so would be "short-sighted and counterproductive."

Finance Minister Paschal Donohue, who is visiting the US, said he would raise concerns about the new tariffs in Washington DC.


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Airbus Baileys Butter European Union Irish Goods Kerrygold Paschal Donohue Robert Lighthizer US Tariffs WTO

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