The European Union and the United States have reached an agreement to mutually lower a number of tariffs on products exported from the EU to America and vice versa. They will announce this in a joint statement. The rate cuts will take effect retrospectively on both sides from August 1st. It’s a package worth “hundreds of millions,” said US Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan.
It has been more than 20 years since the EU and US negotiated lower interest rates. Washington is cutting tariffs by 50 percent on a number of European exports, including certain convenience foods, crystal glassware, lighters and parts thereof. According to the European Commission, the annual commercial value of these goods is 160 million dollars (approx. 136 million euros).
The EU is abolishing taxes on live and frozen US lobster products. According to the latest figures for 2017, the trade value was $ 111 million (approx. 95 million euros). These tariffs will initially be abolished for five years, but Brussels is starting a process to make this permanent.
Lighthizer and Hogan argue that the deal is part of an intended improvement in relations between Brussels and Washington. “This mutually beneficial deal will have a positive impact on the US and EU economies.” The package is intended to “mark the beginning of a process that will lead to additional agreements that create free, fair and reciprocal transatlantic trade”.