EU Regions Call For Support For Agri-Food Businesses Affected By US Tariffs
A number of EU regions have weighed in behind a Spanish position paper that calls on the EU to compensate agri-food businesses affected by tariffs imposed by the US government.
"It is essential for the EU to introduce urgent compensatory measures to help all European agricultural and agri-food sectors adversely affected by the US countermeasures," Joan Calabuig (ES/PES), regional secretary for the European Union and external relations of the Valencia region told the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).
"Imposition of tariffs by the United States will affect local economies to the detriment of a large number of small family businesses."
On the back of the EU providing assistance to aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the US is imposing tariffs worth approximately €6.9 billion, which affect more than 1,400 products.
These tariffs, which were introduced in mid October, and include tariffs on selected meat, dairy products, oils, juices, seafood and alcoholic beverage products.
Tariffs on EU aeronautical products are set at 10%, while the remainder of the tariffs, which are largely on agri-food products, are set at 25%. The full list of products can be found here.
Spain's position paper calls for 'intensified communication' between the United States and the European Union to reach a 'meaningful agreement' that will remedy the current situation.
It also states that trade agreements between the EU and third countries, such as the US, are 'essential' for the development of the agri-food and agricultural industries in the EU, and calls on the EU to put in place greater planning measures to mitigate against potential trade disputes in the future.
'Change The Rules'
Also lending his support to the Spanish position paper, Guillaume Cros (FR/PES), vice-president of the Occitan region and CoR rapporteur on the Common Agricultural Policy, commented, "The priority given to exports and imports has weakened the EU's farm sector. The EU's climate goal also prompts us to review our trade policy, giving priority to the European market and putting international trade in its proper place.
"That is why the CoR has called on the EU to use all its influence as the world's largest food importer and exporter to change the international agricultural trade rules so as to encourage greater fairness and solidarity in trade relations".
In addition, Virginio Merola (IT/PES), Mayor of Bologna, said, "The US trade tariffs are hurting hard the European agri-food producers and in particular the Italian well-known products. The European Union must adopt new support measures for the promotion and production of the agri-food sector."
Elsewhere, Basílio Horta (PT/PES), Mayor of Sintra, noted, “The EU must be able to protect and defend its citizens from the negative consequences of the US’s protectionist policies. International trade is vital for agriculture and agri-food products and its success is reflected in the quality of life of Europeans, in particular European producers.
"This should not be hindered, and EU compensation measures are necessary and urgent to this end."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.