French Finance Minister Threatens US With Sanctions if No Attempt is Made to Resolve Airbus Dispute

© REUTERS / Benoit TessierFrench Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech at the MEDEF union summer forum renamed La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF, at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, August 28, 2019
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech at the MEDEF union summer forum renamed La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF, at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, August 28, 2019 - Sputnik International
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On Wednesday, the US won a $7.5 billion Airbus subsidies case and requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to approve 10 percent tariffs on civil aircraft from the European Union.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire threatened on Thursday to impose sanctions against the United States if the latter wouldn't make any attempt to resolve the Airbus dispute.

"If the American administration rejects the hand that has been held out by France and the European Union, we are preparing ourselves to react with sanctions," said Le Maire.

The day before, the European Union threatened to retaliate if Washington proceeds with slapping tariffs on $7.5 billion worth EU goods after the WTO ruled on behalf of the US.

Following the ruling, the United States requested the WTO schedule a meeting on October 14 to approve a request to impose a 10 percent tariff against large EU-made aircraft.

According to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the United States will begin imposing WTO-approved tariffs on European-made Airbus planes, French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese from across the continent on October 18.

The trade dispute between the two major aircraft makers began in 2004 when Washington accused the UK, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to Airbus.

In 2005, the EU fired back, observing that Boeing had received $19.1 of prohibited subsidies from the US government between 1989-2006. The EU complaint is also being investigated by the WTO, with a ruling expected in about eight months.

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