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EU and U.S. Trade Talks

EU and U.S. Trade Talks

Talks between the European Union and the United States are about to begin…. and could even end in a deal before the end of the year.  According to Reuters, “the EU vote allows the Commission to start two sets of negotiations — one to cut tariffs on industrial goods, the other to make it easier for companies to show products meet EU or U.S. standards.”  However, The EU does not intend to include agricultural products, which could pose a problem to win approval with U.S. Congress “because so many lawmakers want farm access to Europe,” as stated in a Reuters post online.  Furthermore, France and Belgium both refused to support the new trade talks between the EU and U.S., which make up over $1.1 trillion per year in international trade.  France’s deal with the U.S. comes down to the fact that the U.S. is not part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate.  The possible EU-U.S. trade talks come after the USTR’s threat to place tariffs on several imports from member states of the EU over an Airbus subsidies dispute that began in 2004.

EU and U.S. Trade Talks

Agricultural Differences

According to CNN Business Online, “The European Union is very protective of its heavily-subsidized agricultural sector. The United States, meanwhile, wants to break down tariffs and sell farm products in Europe.”  As mentioned before, this dialogue follows a threat that was made last week when  the Office of the United States Representative (USTR) announced a preliminary list of products that could be the target of Section 301 ad valorem tariffs of $11.5 billion worth of goods brought into the United States from member States of the European Union. The tariffs could reach up to 100% duty. The preliminary list includes 317 tariff subheadings when imported from members of the 28 EU member states as well as 9 Harmonized Tariff Schedule statistical reporting numbers being considered for additional duties.  The estimated import value of the goods on the preliminary list was approximately $21 billion in 2018. However, the final list will reflect only the amount of trade found to be adversely affected in the arbitrator’s decision. USTR states that retaliatory tariffs imposed on goods included in the final list will only be lifted “when the EU ends these harmful subsidies.”  The lists include a variety of products and can be downloaded here.

“Trump is also considering whether to impose tariffs of up to 25% on European vehicle imports, with a decision due by the middle of May,” says CNN.  Even so, European Commissioner President Jean Claude Juncker says he was pleased with the EU’s decision in a twitter post:

Read EU Press Release

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