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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

End the tax attacks: ParcelCompare calls for sanity as US-EU trade war escalates

08-Mar-2018
David Jinks MILT (pictured)
ParcelCompare’s Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
End the tax attacks: ParcelCompare calls for sanity as US-EU trade war escalates
As the European Union threatens to impose new 25% tariffs on iconic US products such as Levi’s, Harley Davidsons and Bourbon in retaliation for new US steel tariffs, the leading US-UK courier ParcelCompare says it’s the EU’s duty not to impose new duties.

Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to call for a 25% tariff on steel imports into America last week, a trade row is threatening to escalate between the European Union (EU) and the US which could seriously harm UK businesses and cost consumers dear, says the US-UK shipping expert ParcelCompare.

Says ParcelCompare’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, ‘British manufacturers, retailers and importers could be badly damaged by an escalating tariff war with the US. President Trump announced a 25% tariff on imported steel last week, and then, when the EU protested, threatened to impose a new tax on EU (including UK) cars. This would be serious for UK manufacturers as the US takes 15.7% of all British car exports and currently only charges a 2% tariff on cars from the EU. Interestingly, the EU/UK imposes a 10% tariff on cars imported from the US.’

David adds: ‘Now the EU is failing to do its duty in preventing new duties, by threatening to impose a huge 25% tariff on popular American products such as Levi’s jeans, Harley Davidson motorbikes and Bourbon whiskey. That means British shoppers would pay £81 for a £65 pair of jeans and £25 for a £20 bourbon. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, says these products are all on a draft list of items which could be hit by new taxes.’

David asks: ‘What happens if the US decides on tit-for-tat taxes on the same kind of products from the EU? What would the impact be on British clothing companies such as Burberry, motorbikes such as Triumph and our world-renowned scotch whisky brands? These products are all hugely popular in the US and raising their price there could seriously damage famous UK brands.’

Says David: ‘A trade war with the US is something no side can win; but would hit the UK particularly hard if the same rules on EU goods were to be applied to UK goods imported into the US after Brexit; even as we look to make new deals with America.’

Concludes David: ‘ParcelCompare shippers are selling to the US more than ever before, thanks to the low value of the pound, and a generous $800 threshold under which no tariffs and taxes are imposed on EU/UK goods going into the US. America is also an easy place to do business thanks to a shared language and history. British businesses cannot afford to be dragged into a tit-for-tat row with the US, and all sides should be looking to calm the situation, rather than inflame it.’

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