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Europe gets creative to tackle US in trade war




Amid the inflaming trade war between the US and Europe, the 27-member bloc is working on a law to impose sanctions on the intellectual property rights of a number of American tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. European lawmakers are extending support to a proposal to strengthen the trade powers of the bloc by extending the scope to domains of services and intellectual property rights in a bid to counter US trade policies.

This development has come days after Washington threatened new tariffs on European products sold in America including chocolates, beer, olives, and over 20 other items. These items are exported from European countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and even the UK to the US. New tariffs imposed by the US on $3.1 billion European exports are likely to increase transatlantic trade tensions between two of the world’s largest economies in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, Brussels had warned the US of escalations in the trade war between the two countries after Washington rejected overtures to settle the 15-year-old dispute over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing jets.
In retaliation against Washington, European political parties are backing sanctions against American tech giants. While Trump administration’s tariffs are largely focusing on goods, Europe is planning to make its move through the service sector for a greater impact.

Evidently, such measures can pose potential consequences for the economy amid the current struggle to recover from the socio-economic repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. At the same time, European officials are expecting the policies such as sanctions on tech giants and new charges on carbon emissions to gravely impact its trade partners.

Therefore, members from the EU countries, the European Parliament, and the Commission are likely to meet by the end of this week to chalk out the details of the legislation.

According to media reports. Brussels has argued that the law would boost significantly help in strengthening the EU’s economic autonomy amid trade tensions between US and China as well. Reports have also suggested that trade talks between Washington and London are also fluctuating amid the ongoing developments.

However, this tit-for-tat tariff war is likely to harm not only the two economies but also the relations between the two sides in the geopolitical discourse. In the midst of trade tensions with the US and efforts to recover from pandemic-led economic fallout, European stocks have been witnessing unprecedented drops over the past few days.

Last year, America had imposed tariffs of 15-25% on $7.5 billion worth of goods coming from Europe in response to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that subsidies given by the EU to aerospace giant Airbus in 2004 were illegal.

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