WASHINGTON – The Biden government has said it will not end tariffs on European wine, cheese and other food imports any time soon – upsetting industry groups who say the levy is hurting US restaurants and consumers.
The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Friday that there was no need for now to suspend levies, which the Trump administration imposed as part of a long-running dispute with the European Union over subsidies for commercial aircraft.
In a regulatory filing, the USTR said it would “continue to consider the actions taken in the investigation,” referring to a 17-year-old dispute about how the government is subsidizing Boeing Co. and Airbus SE. The Biden administration said it was reviewing tariffs and other major trade policy measures adopted by the previous administration.
Under the Trump administration, the dispute has turned into a tariff fight that has ensnared a food and beverage industry unrelated to aircraft manufacturing. Washington imposed tariffs on $ 7.5 billion worth of European wine and food such as cheese and olives by the end of 2019.
The European Union retaliated with levies on US whiskey, nuts and tobacco worth an estimated $ 4.5 billion. The US increased sanctions on December 31 with additional tariffs, putting nearly all wine imports from France and Germany below 25%.