France warns of retaliatory tariffs on US goods amid Airbus-Boeing dispute

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire gives a press conference after a meeting with representatives of the fuel industry to discuss the situation on the development of the oil price in Paris on Sept 19, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AP) - France's finance minister says Europe is ready to impose retaliatory tariffs next year on US goods as part of a long-running dispute over subsidies to planemakers Airbus and Boeing.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters on Thursday (Sept 19) that "trade wars are good for no one", noting damage caused worldwide by the US-China trade conflict.

But he said Europe is bracing for possible US sanctions over the plane subsidy dispute, and that "Americans should know that we are ready to react". He said he is pushing for a "friendly agreement" with US Trade Representative Robert Lightizer.

The World Trade Organisation ruled in May that Europe illegally subsidised Airbus, hurting US competitor Boeing. The European Union has brought a similar case at the WTO accusing the US government of illegally subsidising Boeing.

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