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How Boeing vs. Airbus became Trump against Europe



Delta called them "an unfair tax on American consumers and companies." JetBlue, which does not fly Boeing aircraft, said it was "concerned about the adverse impact on tariffs will have" and claimed that it would "harm customers who depend on us to offer competitive, low prices."

Other major Airlines in the United States did not comment on tariffs, preferring to avoid criticizing Trump publicly, but were still silent. "

The tariff package could have been worse for Europe and its customers. The Office of the US Trade Representative said it planned to start taking a 1

0 percent tariff on European aircraft and a 25 percent tariff on agricultural products, including French wine and Spanish olive oil. These taxes may be manageable for a time, but leave the United States room to increase pressure in the future.

[ Read how these new tariffs can make dinner more expensive .

But no party got all that it wanted. Boeing had hoped tariffs would tax parts of Europe, a move that would have damaged Airbus, which opened a plant in Mobile, Ala., In 2015. Finally, the Trump administration refused to do so, believing such a move could hurt production in a pro-Trump state.

Meanwhile, the airlines were lobbying for the tariffs to be structured in a way that minimized their pain. Last week, a bipartisan group of 34 lawmakers sent a letter urging Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, to avoid levying tariffs and, if he did, to exempt existing orders for aircraft. But the tariffs will take existing orders.

With several orders from the World Trade Organization and the threat of European tariffs aimed at threatening American products, Boeing may not have long to enjoy its success. In the midst of an attempted year for the company, the decision was a welcome piece of good news.

"The extent to which European member states went about creating and maintaining Airbus for the purpose of competing with Boeing, an iconic American company, is outstanding," said Robert Novick, a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale who represented Boeing in the case. established that, and the level of damage it found for Boeing is outstanding. "


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