The European Union (EU) is going to slap tariffs on US$4 billion of US imports including planes and plane parts next week in retaliation over US subsidies for aircraft maker Boeing.
The EU diplomats said on Nov 6 that a majority of EU governments have already backed the tariffs, which are expected to be put in place after a meeting of EU trade ministers on Nov 2.
The move will echo US tariffs on European goods over subsidies for Boeing's rival Airbus.
Combined, the two cases represent the world's largest ever corporate trade dispute.
The World Trade Organization gave the European Union the right to impose counter-measures, but the United States said that there was no legal basis this and that, if the bloc chose to impose measures, it "will force a US response".
The move puts the long-running transatlantic trade dispute on the radar of the next US administration, whoever wins the closely fought election.
The European Union could have acted at the end of October, just days before the US election, but chose to delay in order to avoid potentially impacting the outcome. EU governments formally cleared the move on Nov 3, election day.
Tariffs are due to be placed on US planes and parts, fruits, nuts and other farm produce, processed products such as orange juice, certain spirits and a range of other goods, from construction equipment to casino tables, diplomats said.