The authorization was granted as a result of an earlier WTO ruling which found that the EU and the four member states -- France, Germany, Spain and the UK -- failed to remove subsidies for the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus which caused harm to Airbus' US rival, Boeing. The US earlier threatened to impose tariffs on goods worth more than 11 billion USD.
The US may now impose countermeasures on EU goods and services up to a value of 7.5 billion USD annually, in line with the figure decided by a WTO arbitration ruling issued on October 2. The US says it will impose tariffs on a wide range of EU goods starting October 18.
European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom said the EU will do its utmost to block the US tariffs.