The United States imposed tariffs on a record $7.5-billion in in European goods on Friday, targeting such products as Italian cheese and French wine, AFP reported.
The European Union has repeatedly warned Washington of reciprocal measures if it proceeds with tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods, from aircraft to agricultural goods to French wine and Italian cheese.
The US Trade Representative’s office announced that it will impose new tariffs of $7.5 billion on European goods after the World Trade Organisation found that the EU had provided billions of dollars’ worth of illegal subsidies to Airbus, the European plane maker and US-based Boeing's rival, and concluded that Washington can impose tariffs in retaliation, putting an end to the trade dispute which began in 2004.
EU officials, for their part, argued that Boeing has benefited from similar subsidies.
The WTO ruling, however, does not restrict the US tariffs from targeting industries beyond aviation.
In April, Washington released a document that listed six pages of European products to be covered by the new tariffs.
Following the ruling, the US decided on a tax hike of 10 percent on European aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural products. The move has drawn both condemnation and criticism from EU dairy, spirits and produce exporters, which said they were being unfairly dragged into a trade war.
The trade dispute between the US and its transatlantic allies began last year, with Washington slapping duties on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, and Brussels responding by hitting over $3 billion in US goods, from bourbon and corn to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, with a steep 25 percent tariff.