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Spain says U.S. should waive tariffs on EU goods as wine, olives hit

FILE PHOTO: Spain's Industry Minister Maria Reyes Maroto arrives to attend the first cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - The United States should waive tariffs imposed on European Union goods because the bloc abides by all World Trade Organization rules on planemaker Airbus AIR.PA, Spain's trade minister said on Thursday.

The Spanish government rejects a U.S. decision to maintain tariffs imposed on EU goods, minister Reyes Maroto said, speaking a day after Washington decided to keep 15% tariffs on Airbus aircraft and 25% tariffs on other European goods.

Spanish agricultural exports such as wine and olive oil are among the hardest hit by the U.S. tariffs.

Washington took its action despite moves by the EU to resolve a 16-year-old dispute over aircraft subsidies.

The U.S. should seek a solution to the conflict, Maroto added, as that would prevent the EU from imposing its own retaliatory measures as part of a symmetrical dispute over subsidies to U.S. plane maker Boeing Co BA.N.

Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas said retaliating on agriculture was a “strategic error” as the industry needs stability.

The Spanish association of wine makers urged Europe and the United States on Thursday to resume negotiations as exports to the U.S., the second-largest market for Spanish wines, have lost between a fifth and a third of their monthly value.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrei Khalip, William Maclean

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