September 26, 2019 / 1:53 PM / a year ago

WTO to back around $7.5 bln U.S. tariffs on EU over Airbus aid -sources

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The United States has been granted approval to impose tariffs on European Union goods with an annual trade value of around $7.5 billion after some government support for European planemaker Airbus was ruled illegal, people familiar with the matter said.

The decision brings the two trade powers closer to a tit-for-tat tariff war after 15 years in which both sides have won partial World Trade Organization backing over claims of illegal support to planemakers Airbus and its U.S. rival Boeing .

Washington has drawn up a list of goods from planes to wine and handbags worth a total of $25 billion from which it could choose items to target if it goes ahead with the tariffs.

In a counter-case, the EU is pursuing tariffs against the U.S. after the WTO ruled against some U.S. support for Boeing, but the procedure is running six months behind the U.S. case.

The WTO is expected to announce the findings of its arbitration tribunal on the amount of U.S. tariffs next week. Bloomberg News earlier reported they would be nearly $8 billion.

None of the parties or companies agreed to comment. (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)

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