by Keith Zahra
EU and US agree on first negotiated reductions in duties in more than two decades
The European Union and the United States have reached an agreement on a package of tariff reductions that will increase market access for hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. and EU exports. These tariff reductions are the first U.S.-EU negotiated reductions in duties in more than two decades.
Under the agreement, the EU will eliminate tariffs on imports of U.S. live and frozen lobster products. U.S. exports of these products to the EU were over $111 million in 2017. The EU will eliminate these tariffs on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) basis, retroactive to begin August 1, 2020. The EU tariffs will be eliminated for a period of five years and the European Commission will promptly initiate procedures aimed at making the tariff changes permanent.
The United States will reduce by 50% its tariff rates on certain products exported by the EU worth an average annual trade value of $160 million, including certain prepared meals, certain crystal glassware, surface preparations, propellant powders, cigarette lighters and lighter parts. The U.S. tariff reductions will also be made on an MFN basis and retroactive to begin August 1, 2020.