Joe Biden, EU set to lift Trump food tariffs – Reason.com

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During his first presidential visit to Europe, President Joe Biden and his European Union counterparts this week developed a important agreement at to suspend unnecessary retaliatory tariffs targeting a multitude of foods. the Washington post called this week’s deal, which suspends tariffs for five years, “a major step in easing trade relations after the fury of the Trump years.”

As I have detailed several times over the past few years, the tariffs arose out of a long-standing dispute (and subsequent World Trade Organization rulings) over the owed subsidies distributed, respectively, by states. -United with domestic aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the EU to block planes. Airbus manufacturer.

Rather than limiting this dispute to planes, the Trump administration and the EU have foolishly escalated and extended the conflict. In 2019, the Trump administration, the the Wall Street newspaper Noted this week, turned the dispute “into a tariff fight that trapped food and drink industries unrelated to aircraft manufacturing.” This tariff battle “has seen tariffs imposed on a range of businesses unrelated to aircraft production, from French winegrowers to German bakers in Europe and American spirits producers in the United States, among others, “CBS News reported.

This week’s tariff lifting is based on a temporary agreement between the Biden administration and EU leaders, reached in March, which lifted tariffs on a multitude of foods, including wines, whiskey, cheese, olives, nuts and cherries.

These tariffs hurt both foreign and domestic food producers and consumers. Their predictable negative impact has been widespread.

I was one of the many to predict, in a 2018 column, that Trump’s food tariffs would cost jobs and hurt U.S. and foreign producers, consumers, and taxpayers. Indeed, in a column a year later on the impact of these tariffs, I noted a study published by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit that focuses on business issues, which found that the tariffs of the Trump administration would cost the average American consumer more than $ 600 a year. More recently, in an excellent room Last week, at Kentucky’s historic James E. Pepper whiskey distillery, CNN reported that Trump’s tariffs had cost the whiskey maker three-quarters of its European business.

Shortly after Biden’s election victory, I urged him to lift all of Trump’s food tariffs. After Biden’s inauguration, I joined dozens of food industry groups and others in urging him eliminate these food tariffs.

The suspension of these American and European food tariffs is timely. Growing domestic and foreign demand for meat, coupled with rising feed and energy costs, has pushed up consumer prices for consumers. steaks and bacon. But tofu is more expensive too. This widespread food inflation is causing a sticker shock for consumers. Lifting these unnecessary food tariffs should help businesses grow while allowing consumers to keep more of their income.

This week’s deal, while very good, is flawed. It still leaves some non-food tariffs in place. And the deal could evaporate after five years – or sooner if the EU violates the terms of the deal, Remarks Katherine Tai, senior official in the Biden administration. This week’s deal also doesn’t impact the equally ugly Trump era prices on Chinese products. And, in the wake of Brexit, as the EU and UK are busy playing tariff games that hurt members of every bloc, including Irish dairy and whiskey producers– there is always the possibility that new tariffs appear and target United States.

Tariffs, whether they target food or other goods, are based on an unwelcome mix of nationalism and a misunderstanding of the benefits of free trade. They harm consumers and producers alike. They are a lose-lose proposition. While I would have preferred the Biden administration to lift all food tariffs upon taking office, Pres. Biden is to be credited with lowering the barriers to freer trade for all Americans.



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