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The US has threatened to impose additional tariffs worth $11 billion (€9.77 billion) on EU exports, which include EU butter and cheeses such as Cheddar, Edam and Emmental.

These tariffs are being threatened as a retaliation for EU subsidies paid to airplane manufacturer Airbus, which a World Trade Organisation ruling found to be harmful to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Washington believes that the EU subsidies are doing $11bn worth of harm to trade annually, an amount EU official have stated is exaggerated. The exact amount of compensation will be determined by a WTO arbitration panel, with a decision to be taken this summer. The EU in turn is expected to publish later this week its own list of US products to be hit by additional tariffs with a value of €11.2 billion over a similar dispute regarding US subsidies to Boeing.

The list of EU products which would be hit by the tariffs is targeted at agri-food products from the territories producing Airbus components- France, Germany, Spain and the UK. However, it would also apply to and have serious consequences for Irish dairy, as the US is a key and growing market for Irish butter and cheddar exports. Irish Dairy exports to the US were worth €201 million in 2018. Butter exports are leading this, however cheddar exports experienced exceptional growth in the last year, up by 35%.

Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive