EU to scrap tariffs on US live and frozen lobster products

Washington will reduce by 50% its rates on certain European prepared meals, crystal glassware, propellant powders

Photo: EU Phil Hogan.

An agreement on a package of tariff reductions that will increase market access for hundreds of millions of dollars in US and EU exports was announced by United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Friday evening. These tariff reductions are the first US-EU negotiated reductions in duties in more than two decades.

Under the agreement, the EU will remove tariffs on imports of US live and frozen lobster products. US exports of these products to the EU were over $111m in 2017. The EU will eliminate these tariffs on a most favored nation basis, retroactive to begin August 1, 2020.

The EU tariffs will be scrapped 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 $160m, including certain prepared meals, certain crystal glassware, surface preparations, propellant powders, cigarette lighters and lighter parts. The US tariff reductions will also be made on the same basis and retroactive to begin August 1, 2020.

“As part of improving EU-US relations, this mutually beneficial agreement will bring positive results to the economies of both the United States and the European Union.  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” said Ambassador Lighthizer and Commissioner Hogan. 

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