World Trade Organization rules against Europe's Airbus
If Europeans have been feeling blue over the way President Trump has been ruffling their sensitivities, things got measurably worse the other day. This past Tuesday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the U.S. the green light to impose billions of dollars in retaliatory sanctions on European imports. The reason is that the WTO determined that Europe had been illegally subsidizing its flagship aircraft company, Airbus, to the detriment of its American competitor, Boeing.
You have to marvel at the extent the Europeans will go to turn a buck...or a euro, in their case. Volkswagen was found to have monkeyed around with the software on their diesel vehicles to cheat on the emission standards. This resulted in multi-billion-dollar fines and a federal indictment for criminal conspiracy and wire fraud against the company's former CEO.
Then there's the ongoing reluctance of Europe to pay for its own defense. Only heaven knows how many billions this freeloading has cost the U.S. over the years. But it enables Europe to construct its cushy welfare state, so what's not to like about it...at least from a European perspective?
And what was the Paris Climate Accord but a way to inordinately hamstring the U.S. economy so stodgy Europe wouldn't be left farther behind by American innovation and dynamism? As for Trump ripping up the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the French and German outrage wasn't over concern about world safety, but for jeopardizing their business interests with the mullahs.
Now we have this WTO ruling. It is the largest ever WTO authorization of retaliatory tariffs. This by itself indicates the scope of Europe's illegal subsidies. A negotiated settlement between the U.S. and Europe is possible and probably likely in this matter. But because of Trump's past actions of putting America and its workers first, the Europeans should know that we have a president who will not roll over to appease them. Europe is not dealing with the likes of Obama or Clinton.
And what is particularly delicious about this approval for retaliatory tariffs is that they come from the WTO, an international body of the exact type Europe holds up for solving trade issues.