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French traders, EU sound alarm over US tit-for-tat tariffs

FILE - In this Feb.10, 2020 file photo, red wine bottles of the region of Medoc, western France, are displayed at the wine fair in Paris. French wine exporters are warning that they'll take a billion-euro hit in 2021 from the latest ratcheting-up of punitive tariffs between the United States and Europe in a trade row over aircraft subsidies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
FILE - In this Feb.10, 2020 file photo, red wine bottles of the region of Medoc, western France, are displayed at the wine fair in Paris. French wine exporters are warning that they'll take a billion-euro hit in 2021 from the latest ratcheting-up of punitive tariffs between the United States and Europe in a trade row over aircraft subsidies. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

PARIS – French wine exporters warned Thursday that they'll take a billion-euro hit in 2021 from the latest ratcheting-up of punitive tariffs between the United States and Europe in a trade row over aircraft subsidies.

The U.S. government announced Wednesday the imposition of additional tariffs on French and German wines and brandies, as well as aircraft manufacturing parts. They are the latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs in a years-long conflict over subsidies to plane makers Boeing and Airbus.

The French Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters on Thursday decried the U.S. measures as “a sledgehammer blow” and estimated they could cost the sector more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

It urged French and European officials to immediately begin discussions on a solution with the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

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In Brussels, European Union officials expressed regret at the U.S. move, which they said “unilaterally disrupts the ongoing negotiation” between the two sides on a settlement.

They pledged to engage with Biden's incoming team “at the earliest possible moment to continue these negotiations and find a lasting solution to the dispute.”