EC proposes nixing industrial goods tariffs with U.S.


According to a document on the website of the European Commission (EC), the EC has proposed the opening of negotiations on an agreement with the United States on the elimination of tariffs for industrial goods. 

“While applied tariffs levels are relatively low, the sheer size of our trade relationship means that the elimination of all tariffs of industrial goods will have an important impact on businesses and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic,” the statement said.

“Friday’s publication of our draft negotiating directives is part of the implementation of the July joint statement of [EC] President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.S. President Donald Trump,” European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said in a statement.

The U.S. serves as the main export destination of EU exports in industrial goods. At the same time, it is the second largest exporter of such goods to the EU. The EU-U.S. trade in goods amounted to approximately EUR 633 billion (about USD 722 bln) in 2017, of which EUR 598 bln was in industrial goods, the Commission said. Generally both the EU and the U.S. have low tariffs on industrial goods. The average tariff rates on non-agricultural products amount to 4.2% and 3.1%, respectively.

An internal analysis by the EC showed that if the tariff on industrial goods were to decrease to zero, the EUʼs exports of goods to the U.S. would rise by 10%, while at the same time U.S. exports to the EU would grow by 13%. The proposal will need approval from European Union member states.

The full statement can be read here.


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