While senior EU officials expect the U.S. to move forward with retaliation once the WTO authorizes it, the imposition of the proposed tariffs would threaten to further strain ties as the U.S. and EU try to sit down to negotiate a trade deal.

U.S. industry groups were quick to oppose the tariffs. “U.S. companies -- from farmers, to suppliers to retailers -- are already being negatively impacted by the imposition of retaliatory tariffs by key trading partners on certain U.S. distilled spirits resulting from other trade disputes,” the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said in a statement after USTR’s announcement.

The EU has its own pending WTO case against Boeing. The EU in April published its preliminary list of U.S. goods being targeted in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory tariffs over subsidies to Boeing, with a focus on farm products from areas that help form Trump’s political base. Other items in the wide-ranging target list included ketchup, nuts, video game consoles and bicycle pedals.

Bloomberg News.

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