Washington: The US said on Friday it will increase the tariff rate imposed on aircraft imported from the European Union to 15% from 10% on March 18. The move is part of a long-running spat in which the US has sought to penalise the EU for offering illegal subsidies to Airbus SE that harmed American aircraft maker Boeing.

The US Trade Representative said in the statement on Friday that it is leaving duties on certain other European goods such as Scotch and French wine at 25% and will make minor changes to the previously released product list.

The US is deploying a trade tactic known as carousel retaliation, whereby governments periodically shift duties and tariff rates on different groups of goods in order to increase pain and uncertainty for exporters.

On Oct. 18, Washington imposed the original 10% duties on Airbus aircraft and 25% tariffs on a range of European consumer exports, like cheeses and Spanish olives. The US list continued to spare an Alabama Airbus plant that assembles single-aisle aircraft like the A320 by not hitting airplane parts.

But the higher tariffs will hit wide body Airbus models not assembled in the US and mean higher prices for those models for US airlines that have orders on the books.

Both Boeing and Airbus have pushed US and EU officials to try and reach a negotiated settlement. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said that is what it was aiming for as well.

“In our view the focus now should be on finding a negotiated solution to the aircraft disputes on the basis of the concrete EU proposals for existing subsidies and future disciplines in this sector,” spokesman Daniel Rosario said in an emailed statement.

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