The United States and the United Kingdom recently released a joint statement announcing a four-month suspension of tariffs related to the ongoing large civilian aircraft dispute. Both sides took the decision “to ease the burden on industry and take a bold, joint step towards resolving the longest running disputes at the World Trade Organisation,” the statement said.
“The United Kingdom ceased applying retaliatory tariffs in the Boeing dispute from January 1, 2021, to de-escalate the issue and create space for a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes,” said the statement.
“The United States will now suspend retaliatory tariffs in the Airbus dispute from March 4, 2021, for four months. This will allow time to focus on negotiating a balanced settlement to the disputes, and begin seriously addressing the challenges posed by new entrants to the civil aviation market from non-market economies, such as China.”
“This will benefit a wide range of industries on both sides of the Atlantic, and allow for focused settlement negotiations to ensure that our aerospace industries can finally see a resolution and focus on COVID recovery and other shared goals,” the statement added.
The list of products that attracted a 25 per cent tariff included UK-made cashmere jumpers, anoraks, swimwear, and bed linen.
In 2018, the UK exported to the US around £11m worth of the knitted and crocheted clothing that were targeted by the tariffs, of which around £6m are cashmere.
“I am delighted that the US ‘airbus’ tariffs have been suspended for UK exporters. The tariffs have cost UK fashion businesses dearly over the past year at a time when trade was already extremely challenging. We have been working very closely with the Department of International Trade on this issue and we will continue to work with them to reach a permanent solution,” said Adam Mansell, CEO of UK Fashion and Textile (UKFT).
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