THE crippling tariffs imposed by the Americans on Scotch whisky, French wine and Italian cheese is the latest salvo in a 15-year-old trade war between two rival aircraft manufacturers.

Boeing and Airbus have, for many, many years, accused the other of cheating in the race to become the world’s number one.

It all came to a head in 2004 with the two countries accusing each of breaching strict World Trade Organisation rules on state aid.

Boeing said loans and grants given to Airbus by EU countries for the development of its A380 super-jumbo jet and the smaller A350 were illegal.

READ MORE: Calls for US military to be banned from Scotland over whisky tariff row

In January 2005, representatives from the EU and US agreed to talks to try and resolve the dispute, however, those discussion were unsuccessful, and, if anything, made it worse.

The Americans filed a case at the WTO. Twenty-four hours later the European Union filed their own complaint.

Both sides have blamed the other for the escalation by accusing the other of ignoring attempts to head off a trade war through negotiation.

The WTO, gave a mixed verdict in 2010 and there have been years of appeals eve since.

The permission to impose $7.5 billion worth of tariffs – which are due to come into force on October 18 – was a record for the WTO.

A 10% tariff will apply to large civil aircraft from the four Airbus-producing countries - Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

READ MORE: Ministers respond to Scotch whisky tariff war with Trump

The US trade representative’s office (USTRO) also released a list of hundreds of European agricultural products that will be subject to a 25% tariff, including woollen jumpers, biscuits, salami, butter, yoghurt, olive and coffee.

It’s not as bad as it could have been. An initial list proposed earlier this year when aircraft parts, helicopters, fish (except shellfish), bed linen, Parmesan, metals, bicycle parts, wall clocks and handbags were all facing a hefty tariff.

The EU has also drawn up a list of US imports worth $20bn that they plan on hitting with tariffs. They have a case in front of the WTO against Boeing subsidies, likely to be heard next year.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU commissioner for trade, said: “If the US decides to impose WTO-authorised countermeasures, it will be pushing the EU into a situation where we will have no other option than to do the same.”

The EU’s 11-page list includes dried fruit and nuts, as well as coffee, ketchup, wines and spirits, frozen fish, tobacco, handbags, suitcases, tractors, helicopters and video game consoles.

More obscure items include bowling alley equipment, casino tables and electric car racing sets.

Food importers in the US say they’d by hurt by the levies into the upcoming crucial Christmas sales period.

“It looks pretty bad. They hit cheese hard,” said Ralph Hoffman, a vice-president of the Cheese Importers Association of America.

Boeing has endured one of the most difficult years in its history, after two crashes involving its 737 Max jet that killed 346 people following the apparent malfunction of safety features.