Brussels, 20 January 2021. EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines (www.efow.eu), welcomes the letter sent by Mr Norbert Lins, the Chairman of the AGRI Committee of the European Parliament, on behalf of all his colleagues to Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, inviting him to contact President Biden’s administration to offer a moratorium on the application of additional tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic while seeking a definitive solution to the Airbus-Boeing dispute.
The USA are by far the leading export market for EU wines in terms of volume and value and remain a trend setter for our sector. The 25% ad valorem US additional punitive tariffs imposed on EU wines have already resulted in a 54% decline in exports of the targeted wines in a difficult COVID-19 context. The USTR decision on 30 December 2020 to further extend these tariffs to new French and German wines and spirits as of 12 January 2021 will continue to exacerbate the situation. Meanwhile, the European Union imposes almost 4 billion euros of additional tariffs on US products imported in the EU. In both cases, most of the targeted products are collateral victims of a dispute in which they have no part.
For months, the European Commission has been trying to find a negotiated solution. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has repeatedly supported the sectors affected calling for measures to alleviate the consequences for European agriculture. Recently, a coalition of 60 MEPs led by French MEP Irène Tolleret sent a letter to the European Commission asking for specific financial support measures. On 14 January, the Chair of the Agriculture Committee, German MEP Norbert Lins took over a proposal from Italian MEP Paolo De Castro to mobilise the EC at the highest level to offer a moratorium to the upcoming US Administration.
EFOW’s President, Mr Bernard Farges, states: “With the inauguration of a new US President and a new US administration, we believe that time has come to de-escalate the conflict. The letter sent by the members of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament to Executive Vice-President and Commissioner Dombrovskis calling on him to contact President Biden’s administration is excellent and very timely. We need a new momentum to find a way out of this long-lasting trade dispute that is affecting wrongly too many operators on both sides of the Atlantic, thousands of companies that have nothing to do with the aeronautic sector. We thank the European Parliament for this important initiative and count on Executive Vice-President and Commissioner Dombrovskis but also on the European Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen, to contact the new US administration in the coming days to offer a moratorium and a framework to negotiate a definitive solution to this dispute“.