The European Union (EU) has announced that it will be moving forward with increased tariffs on U.S. goods. Tariffs will be imposed on nearly $4 billion worth of American imports. The tariffs will be implemented on a variety of agricultural and industrial goods. A decision issued by the World Trade Organization back in October allows the EU to move forward with retaliatory tariffs. The underlying issue originated from an EU grievance with U.S. subsidies for aircraft production.
“We have made clear all along that we want to settle this long-running issue. Regrettably, due to lack of progress with the U.S., we had no other choice but to impose these countermeasures,” Executive Vice President for the European Commission and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said in a news release. “The EU is consequently exercising its legal rights under the WTO’s recent decision.”
The increased tariffs will affect a number of different agricultural products. A list of American goods that will be impacted includes a tier system for the tariffs. The 15 percent tier affects some civilian aircraft. A 25 percent tariff tier will apply to a multitude of food and agriculture products. In a press release, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern expressed frustration with how the EU is handling the trade dispute.
“Europe has long wielded restrictive and unjustified trade tactics to limit fair competition from U.S. agriculture, including dairy exports,” Mulhern noted. “The EU’s restrictive trade policies that have resulted in a one-way flow of agriculture trade, and in particular dairy trade, to Europe is something that both the current and future Administrations need to keep in mind. In fact, the trade deficit between the EU and U.S. continues to widen as the EU uses unjustified trade tactics to erode U.S. market access and limit fair competition.”