- The US has expanded plans to levy new tariffs on aircraft, food, and industrial products from the European Union.
- The Trump administration said those measures were necessary to retaliate against the bloc for its financial assistance to Airbus.
- But businesses have widely warned against the move, saying it would raise prices and put jobs at risk.
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The US has expanded plans to levy new tariffs on food, industrial products, and luxury clothing from the European Union, saying those measures were necessary to retaliate against the bloc for its financial assistance to Airbus.
But domestic businesses warned against the move, which came after the World Trade Organization gave the US the green light to target $7.5 billion worth of European products. In letters to the Office of the US Trade Representative, they have warned the tariffs could lead to higher prices and potential layoffs.
- Stefano Rellandini/Reuters
“If the tariffs go into effect, we will be forced to offshore our products affected by the tariffs to survive. That would result in layoffs of at least 50 to 60 of our US employees. I do not think either of us is interested in seeing that happen.” -Clay T. Barnes, CEO at Small Parts Inc.
“While we understand USTR’s need to pressure our international trading partners who breach their responsibilities, we feel that the American cheese importing industry and its downstream partners have borne the brunt of retaliatory tariffs thus far. And now between the proposed additional tariffs related to the Airbus Dispute and the proposed tariffs related to the French Digital Services Act, we are seriously concerned that our wider industry in general and our company in particular will become collateral damage in a larger trade war we did nothing to create.” -Joseph C. Zuercher, Jr., president at Zuercher & Co.
“The proposed 100% tariff would be devastating to my business, our dealer employees and customers. It would cause my business to decline very significantly to the point of many of my dealers closing, many dealer employees being laid off, and the loss of my job.” –Matt Taber, sales manager at KTM Motorcycles District
“We believe USTR’s proposed action sends the right message to Europe – that the costs of staying out of compliance are just too great. Conversely, doing nothing signals to Europe, and others who may consider cheating the rules-based system, that theses actions will have no consequences. After decades of harmful, ongoing subsidies and 15 years of WTO litigation, we believe the proposed tariffs are both appropriate and the only realistic means of bringing about an end to Airbus subsidies.” -Allison Gilbreath, executive director of Arizona Manufacturers Council
“The proposed 100% tariffs on all European wine regardless of origin, style, or alcohol percentage presents an existential threat to the wine industry as we presently know it, an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans. If these tariffs are imposed, we will lose our jobs, our income, and thousands of small businesses will close.” -Mary S. Barrett, sales representative at Haw River Wine Man
- Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
“The destructive effect of punitive taxes will extend to the American retail trade, as there are hundreds of retailers and restaurants specializing in German food products. Tariffs will result in hundreds of layoffs. The reinstatement of 100% duties is a contradiction to the free enterprise.” –Susanne Witte Settineri, president at Carl Brandt Inc.
“A tariff on Belchem fiber would significantly increase the price of our thermal insulation material which we sell to Boeing. This would also allow other textile manufacturers to buy the fiber in Europe, manufacture the textile, and import at a significantly more competitive price. This ultimately will impact our sales and reduce jobs for workers here in Maine and our new acquisition in North Carolina.” –Ciaran Lynch, CEO at TexTech Industries
“Speaking as a very proud 3rd generation family business owner whose grandparents emigrated from Italy, these tariff on European cheeses, olives, and olive oils are extremely damaging to our daily business. We cannot afford to raise all our prices in these categories.” -Emilio Mignucci, owner at Di Bruno Bros.
- Win McNamee/Getty Images
“The proposed 100% tariff would severely affect my personal life in a negative way. I currently just purchased my first house and plan on getting married in the next year. If this tariff were to be passed, I would potentially lose my job and have lots of bills to pay with no income. Trade disputes within the aircraft industry should not be solved with sanctions against non-aircraft products. A 100% tariff on motorcycles and motorcycle parts and accessories will cause my employer to suffer serious and irreversible harm.” -Andrew Decew, sales manager at Hsqvarna Motorcycles District
“Savello USA, Inc. strongly opposes the proposed increase in tariffs on cheese, pork products, olives, pasta, and many other specialty foods. These tariffs are disproportional and misdirected as they will negatively impact small and very small businesses in the United States and lessen consumer choice in foods, in retaliation to matters relating to civil aviation, not agriculture.” -Cesare Gallo, president at Savello USA Inc.
“We are a small company that has been in business for 16 years, and we firmly believe the motorcycle industry will be harmed by an up to 100% tariff added to the price of motorcycles, parts and accessories coming in from EU countries.” -Fritz Kadlec, owner at Gunnison Motorsports
“It would no longer be possible to absorb these additional duties to minimize the impact on consumers if they were to be increased to 100%. They would ultimately be passed on to the consumer which would have a negative impact on consumption/buying habits of these wines. In essence, these duties would surely lead to the closure of my company and put me on the unemployment line, along with many of my colleagues.” -Caroline Debbané, owner at Caroline Debbané Selections
“The application of additional tariffs on copper foil would have a negative impact on American manufacturers and would increase the cost of final products manufactured in the U.S. by U.S. companies.” -Thonias Schaller, vice president at Schlenk USA
“While these duties may not be a significant contribution to trade rebalancing, they represent a critical and symbolic first step towards EU tariff elimination.” -Rosemary O’Brien, senior vice president at CFIndustries