`Europe Removes Tariffs on U.S. Lobsters in Bid to De-Escalate Trade Tensions - Olive Oil Times

Europe Removes Tariffs on U.S. Lobsters in Bid to De-Escalate Trade Tensions

By Daniel Dawson
Aug. 25, 2020 13:08 UTC

The European Union has agreed to end tar­iffs worth $111 mil­lion on the import of live and frozen lob­sters from the United States, a move aimed at de-esca­lat­ing trade ten­sions between the two.

In return, the U.S. will elim­i­nate its tar­iffs on $160 mil­lion of imports from the 27 mem­ber trad­ing bloc, includ­ing pre­pared meals.

See Also:Trade News

The deal has not yet been approved by all the other European insti­tu­tions, but is seen as a crit­i­cal first step in unwind­ing 20 years of trade ten­sions. The deci­sion marks the first time tar­iffs have been removed by either side in that time period.

We intend for this pack­age of tar­iff reduc­tions to mark just the begin­ning of a process that will lead to addi­tional agree­ments that cre­ate more free, fair and rec­i­p­ro­cal transat­lantic trade,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said in a joint state­ment.

While tar­iffs on pack­aged Spanish olive oil imports as well as imports of some types of table olives from France and Spain will remain in place, nego­tia­tors on both sides of the Atlantic are con­fi­dent that this de-esca­la­tion will not be an iso­lated inci­dent.

A European Commission spokesper­son hinted to CNBC that this nego­ti­a­tion could be the first step in bring­ing the two sides to the table to dis­cuss air­craft sub­si­dies given to Airbus and Boeing.

On behalf of the U.S., the World Trade Organization (WTO) has already ruled that the E.U. ille­gally sub­si­dized Airbus and awarded $7.5 bil­lion of coun­ter­mea­sures. The WTO is also expected to rule in favor of the E.U. on a sim­i­lar case regard­ing sub­si­dies pro­vided to U.S. man­u­fac­turer, Boeing. That rul­ing is expected to come later in the sum­mer.

The Commission and the U.S. see this agree­ment as a good basis and first step for fur­ther improv­ing E.U.-U.S. trade rela­tions,” the spokesper­son told CNBC. The pack­age builds on both sides’ com­mit­ment to find a nego­ti­ated solu­tion for the long­stand­ing air­craft dis­pute.”


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