Tariffs against Airbus floated this week by President Donald Trump are unfair and unnecessary, according to a company representative in Mobile.

Airbus, which employs 700 workers assembling commercial airplanes at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, disputes that it deserves penalties for alleged violations of World Trade Organization rules.

“This proposal is unjustified,” company spokeswoman Kristi Tucker said in a statement. “Airbus has taken all necessary measures to comply with the relatively minor elements highlighted by the WTO in May 2018.”

Trump tweeted about the issue on Tuesday, mentioning Airbus specifically, as part of $11 billion in planned tariffs on European Union products.

“The World Trade Organization finds that the European Union subsidies to Airbus has adversely impacted the United States, which will now put Tariffs on $11 Billion of EU products! The EU has taken advantage of the U.S. on trade for many years. It will soon stop!” he wrote. 

Earlier this week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer put out a preliminary list of products ranging from helicopters to cherry jam.

Regarding Airbus, Lighthizer cited litigation in the WTO that has dragged on for 14 years over subsidies by European governments that the U.S. says are illegal. The WTO ruled in 2011 that illegal subsidies from 1968 to 2006 totaled $18 billion and cost Boeing 300 lost aircraft sales.

Airbus says Boeing also has run afoul of WTO rules. Last month, a WTO appeals panel ruled that Boeing had benefited from an illegal $100 million annual tax break. That opened the door for the EU to seek billions of dollars in damages.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  


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