U.S. ag groups call for EU tariff removal

U.S. ag groups call for EU tariff removal
Nov 19, 2020

The EU imposed levies on U.S. goods on Nov. 10

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

American ag industry organizations are calling on members of President Trump’s administration to protect the sector from tariffs.

A total of 21 groups signed a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking him and other federal officials to work with the European Union (EU) so it removes tariff and non-tariff barriers from multiple ag products.

Letter signees include the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association.

The U.S. and EU have traded tariffs since 2018.

In June of that year, the EU placed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. ag exports including whiskey, sweet corn, orange juice and rice in response to America putting levies on steel and aluminum. In June 2021, the tariff on some of those U.S. ag products will increase to 50 percent.

In October 2019, the U.S. imposed tariffs on European ag products related to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Airbus ruling.

Then, on Nov. 10 of this year, the EU placed more tariffs on American agriculture. Affected products include cheese, spirits, potatoes, fruit and chocolate.

When factoring in tariffs, COVID-19 and weather events, it’s evident these two trading partners need to repair their relationship for the betterment of farmers.

“For these reasons, we strongly urge the U.S. and EU to deepen trade discussions in order to bring about WTO compliance and, therefore, allow for the removal of tariffs to help unlock the opportunity for our producers to successfully access the European market,” the Nov. 18 letter says.

Farms.com has contacted members of the U.S. ag industry for comment on the importance of re-establishing free trade with Europe and expanding trade opportunities overall.

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