Transatlantic letter urges EU and US to drop tariff war
The tariff war resulted from a dispute over civil aircraft subsidies and has affected several other sectors, not least the spirits trade, which has seen tough import duties placed on its products.
More than 80 European and American organisations impacted by EU-US retaliatory tariffs sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Biden urging the permanent removal of tariffs on sectors unrelated to the ongoing Trans-Atlantic trade disputes.
The organisations, which range from agricultural products to consumer and industrial goods, welcome the recent four-month suspension of EU and US tariffs that had been imposed as result of the long-standing disputes concerning large civil aircraft subsidies.
The tariffs have particularly affected the scotch whisky trade, as well as certain other EU beverages such as cognac and wine. A ceasefire of sorts was agreed earlier in the year for four months, but the hope of manufacturers across the industry is that these punitive trade tariffs can be dropped for good.
“We are hopeful that this suspension will help reset the vital transatlantic trade relationship and lead to the permanent removal of all additional and retaliatory tariffs on products which are unrelated to the sectors subject to ongoing transatlantic trade disputes,” said the group.
“It is important for our members, already drastically affected by the economic impact of the pandemic, to be able to rely on the continued suspension or complete removal of these tariffs after July 2021.”
Citing the looming 1 June deadline for the second wave of retaliatory tariffs in the steel and aluminium dispute, the organisations call for a suspension of retaliatory tariffs in other disputes, while both sides work out a more permanent solution.
“The transatlantic relationship is of enormous economic importance to our sectors, and we are eager to see it protected and nurtured,” said the organisations. “Our sectors should no longer incur collateral damage in unrelated disputes.”
“We strongly urge the EU and United States to intensify efforts towards securing the permanent removal of retaliatory tariffs on products unrelated to the sectors subject to ongoing transatlantic trade disputes and to avoid new additional tariffs. This would create the necessary certainty and stability needed to grow the transatlantic economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”