EU drops tariffs on US lobster

The European Union will immediately eliminate its tariffs on imports of U.S. live and frozen lobster products, according to an announcement from the United States Trade Representative’s office.

An agreement struck between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Friday, 21 August will result in the E.U. eliminating the lobster tariffs on a Most-Favored Nation basis, retroactive to 1 August, 2020. In return, the United States will reduce by 50 percent its tariffs on a variety of products including prepared meals, glassware, propellant powders, cigarette lighters, and other products collectively valued at around USD 160 million (EUR 135.7 million). The U.S. tariff reductions will also be made on a Most-Favored Nation basis and are retroactive to 1 August.

The United States exported around USD 111 million (EUR 94.1 million) in lobster products to the E.U. in 2017

“As part of improving E.U.-U.S. relations, this mutually beneficial agreement will bring positive results to the economies of both the United States and the European Union,” Lighthizer and Hogan said in a joint statement. “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.”

In a statement, National Fisheries Institute President John Connelly said he applauded the two sides for reaching the agreement

“Today’s announcement from the Trump administration that tariffs on live and frozen U.S. lobster exports to the European Union have been immediately eliminated is a genuine breakthrough in efforts to open more markets to high quality, sustainable American seafood,” he said. “The duties on live and frozen U.S. lobster shipped to the E.U. had been between 8 and 20 percent, but, as part of today’s bilateral agreement, the rate will drop to zero percent.  This achievement will provide an immediate and sorely needed boost to the men and women who harvest American lobster and the lobster processors and distributors who together supply this great product to consumers in the vital EU market and around the world.

Connelly credited the Office of the U.S Trade Representative, U.S. President Donald Trump, and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) for “making American seafood exports a priority.”

Photo courtesy of Oscar C. Williams/Shutterstock


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