(Brussels, 11 June 2021) Ahead of the EU-US summit on 15 June 2021 in Brussels, the EU agri-food chain, represented by Copa-Cogeca, CELCAA and FoodDrinkEurope, call on political leaders to build on the current positive momentum in the transatlantic relationship to resolve on-going transatlantic disputes and to permanently remove retaliatory tariffs on agri-food products.
The EU and US are key trading partners in agri-food products, and rank in each other’s top three global export destinations and import sources, trading in raw materials, ingredients and high value-added products. In 2020, EU-US trade in agri-food products totaled €31 billion.
As a sector unrelated to, but victim of, the long-standing civil aircraft subsidies disputes, we very much welcome the four-month tariff suspension and are encouraged by the more recent decision to temporarily suspend further rebalancing measures in the steel and aluminium case. This cooperative approach to de-escalate trade tensions and find common permanent solutions should also be pursued to solve the ripe olives dispute and bridge differences on the digital services tax, as well as other non-tariff administrative measures.
At the same time, we would like to recall that EU agri-food supply chains, both up- and downstream, continue to face considerable uncertainty and costs, as long as these disputes remain unsolved. The risk of further collateral damage on unrelated sectors is looming as we approach July 11 – the end of the four-month tariff suspension in the civil aircraft subsidies disputes.
Predictability is essential to maintain the smooth flow of transatlantic trade in agri-food products. Hence our request for an advance notice that tariffs will not make an unwelcome return, even in the case additional time to negotiate is needed.
This is particularly important at a time when our economies are starting to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that political leaders’ joint efforts will bring the current positive momentum to the next level, by agreeing a clear way forward to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and the international rules-based trading framework.