The EU has in turn retaliated.
But the specter of more tariffs comes at a sensitive time.
The US Trade Representative can now narrow down a preliminary list of goods it previously drew up for tariffs.
Although the WTO ruling allows Washington to penalise the bloc with duties of up to 100 percent, the USA has chosen not to apply the maximum rate, but "has the authority to increase the tariffs at any time, or change the products affected", Mr Lighthizer's office added.
The price of Scotch, French wine, cheese and other European exports is about to go up in the USA after the Trump administration announced new tariffs on billions of dollars of EU products starting october 18.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa in Rome, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "I'm very hopeful that we can get an outcome that works for everyone, that's consistent with making sure that every American business is treated fairly".
Boeing Co on Wednesday urged Airbus to comply with World Trade Organization rulings on European subsidies to avoid USA sanctions that would hurt not only the planemaker but also the wider European economy.
The U.S. plan includes a 10 per cent tariff on large civil aircraft from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. It will also slap 25 per cent levies on a range of other items including Irish and Scotch whiskeys, wine, olives and cheese, as well as certain pork products, butter and yogurt from various European nations. The decision is a further blow for the already-ailing Eurozone and global economies, although not as severe a blow as it could have been.
"We've been arguing for a trade deal for months".
"Airbus considers that the only way to prevent the negative effects that these countermeasures would create will be for the USA and European Union to find a resolution to this long-running dispute through a negotiated settlement before the tariffs become effective", he said.
On Tuesday, the head of Irish budget airlines group Ryanair RYA.I urged the United States and European Union to pull back from the brink of a tariff war and said neither side's aviation industry would survive a long dispute. SWA chief executive Karen Betts noted in a statement that the United States was producers' "largest and most valuable single market", with "over 1 billion pounds of Scotch Whisky...exported there a year ago. Extreme caution is warranted and we would allow for this to hold the downside and provoke recovery.", says Karen Jones, head of technical analysis at Commerzbank.
The EU's top trade official responded to the announcement by saying the bloc would prefer to reach a settlement with the United States to avoid a tariff war - but it will respond if President Donald Trump imposes new duties on EU products.
The US is expected to dramatically escalate trade tensions with Europe this month following a decision from the World Trade Organization on Wednesday. A claim the manufacturer and European governments have been fighting against for years.
Analysis from the trade association shows that the U.S. tariffs on Scotch, liqueurs and cordials, and wine could impact nearly US$3.4bn in imports.
"Investor confidence has crumbled off the back off a couple of weak U.S. data prints, whilst impeachment talk and geopolitical troubles from Hong Kong to North Korea are not helping".
Trump has repeatedly threatened to impose 25% tariffs on imported cars from Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
But it came with an explicit warning.
Analysts said the tariffs may not be as bad as first feared for European drinks makers.
The two cases are expected to lead to tit-for-tat tariffs, beginning with the USA measures, posing new problems for businesses and financial markets around the world.
The US investment bank Jefferies said about $440m of revenue at Diageo would be affected by the tariffs, about 5% of its total US sales.
Businesses and markets are already roiled by a trade war between Washington and Beijing.
The move threatens to trigger a tit-for-tat transatlantic trade war as the global economy falters. There was no immediate comment from USA officials.
"The ISM manufacturing index has dropped to a 10-year low as trade worries, weak global growth and a strong dollar weigh on the sector".
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