US tariffs on EU pork will 'add unwelcome costs'

The United State government has imposed new tariffs on EU pork exports
The United State government has imposed new tariffs on EU pork exports

New tariffs imposed by the United States on EU pork products will 'add unwelcome costs' to the trade, British pig producers warn.

The Trump administration has imposed a new tariff of 25% on pork products from the EU as the trade dispute between the US and EU escalates.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) have announced that the US would be allowed to apply up to $7.5bn of retaliatory tariffs a year on products imported from the bloc.

This is as a result of the Airbus-Boeing dispute. Both the US and EU claim that each others aeroplane manufacturer is unfairly subsidised.

As such, President Trump's administration has published a final list of EU products affected by the additional duties, which will be implemented from the 18 October.

The tariffs will cover a range of pork products and other goods shipped from the EU – worth around £6bn in total - including Scotch whisky, cheese and other dairy products, fruit, seafood, wine and clothing.

In the first seven months of this year, the UK exported 6,768 tonnes of pork to the US, the second largest non-EU destination behind China (38,619t), the National Pig Association (NSA) highlights.

The tariffs, another chapter on the growing global trade tensions, will add 'unwelcome costs' to the trade, the industry body says.

While the volumes are significantly lower than the Chinese export volumes, the US is seen as an important market for high value pork cuts.

The Department for International Trade said: “The UK government is clear that resorting to tariffs is not in the interests of the UK, EU or US. We are working closely with the US, EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes.

“We are also seeking confirmation from the WTO that the UK has complied fully with WTO rulings regarding support to Airbus, and should not be subject to tariffs.”

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said: “For years, Europe has been providing massive subsidies to Airbus that have seriously injured the US aerospace industry and our workers.

“Finally, after 15 years of litigation, the WTO has confirmed that the United States is entitled to impose countermeasures in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies.”