The U.S. Government’s announcement that it will now tax certain European imports will have a direct impact of about three million euros on Belgian food products, the Belgian food industry federation, FEVIA, commented on Wednesday.
Washington announced earlier on Wednesday that it would impose punitive customs tariffs on 7.5 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of European goods, just a few hours after winning a “big victory” at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the unending saga of Airbus subsidies.
The customs tariffs will be imposed from 18 October. They amount to 10% on planes imported from the EU and 25% on other goods, including wines, cheese, coffee and olives, according to a list published by the services of the U.S. Trade Representative, USTR.
The U.S. sanctions will cost Belgian cheese exports an estimated 3 million euros. This is “bad news for these companies but the direct impact is not too high for the sector,” FEVIA stressed, adding, however, that the indirect effect of the U.S. measure was harder to quantify.
FEVIA urged the Belgian authorities to avoid a trade war with the United States.
Exports are vital for Belgium’s food sector and the new tariffs come at a time when the U.S. market has been growing.
The Brussels Times