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USTR to Remove EU Tariffs on American Food, Ag Exports
USAgNet - 11/20/2020

America's leading agriculture commodity groups and trade associations sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking that he and the Trump administration work to "deepen trade discussions" in order to bring about WTO compliance and removal of EU retaliatory tariffs targeting U.S. food and ag exports.

On November 10th, the EU imposed American food and agricultural exports, including certain cheeses, agricultural equipment, distilled spirits, potatoes, nuts, fruits, juices, chocolate, and ketchup. The letter was led by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and Farmers for Free Trade.

"The escalation of tariffs on the EU and U.S. spirits industry is compounding the severe economic crisis distilleries, restaurants and bars are facing as a result of COVID-19," said Robert Maron, Vice President for International Trade for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, noting that American Whiskey exports to the EU have tumbled by 41 percent since the EU's 25 percent retaliatory tariff went into effect in June 2018, and new EU tariffs on U.S. rum, vodka and brandy were just imposed last week. "We need the U.S. and EU to get back to the negotiating table to immediately eliminate these tariffs to help protect hospitality jobs on both sides of the Atlantic."

"Farmers are battling to stay above water and any new tariff in this time of crisis is a big concern," said Brian Kuehl, Co-Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade. "We know these tariffs are part of a long legal battle but anytime farmers become collateral damage it is unacceptable. American farmers need stability and that means predictable exports into markets like the EU. We are urging this administration and the next one to double down on their effort to resolve this dispute in a manner that frees our farmers from harmful tariffs."


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