On August 21, 2020, the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Union (EU) Commissioner Phil Hogan issued a joint statement, announcing that both parties would reduce tariffs on certain goods. Specifically, the EU has agreed to eliminate tariffs on imports of U.S. live and frozen lobster products. The elimination of these tariffs will span over a five year period. The EU had previously reached a free-trade agreement with Canada that resulted in significant increases in European imports of Canadian lobsters, while U.S. lobster exports declined. In return, the U.S. agreed to reduce its tariffs by 50% on specific imported goods from the EU including “certain prepared meals, certain crystal glassware, surface preparations, propellant powders, cigarette lighters and lighter parts.” Both of these tariff changes will be made on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) basis and will apply retroactively to August 1, 2020.
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide any updates. Husch Blackwell encourages those who may have questions or concerns on this issue to please contact the International Trade and Supply Chain team.