New Tariffs On European Cheeses And Other Agricultural Products To Result In Lost American Jobs, Higher Prices And Uncertainty For Business Owners According To CIAA

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US Levies $7.5 billion in Tariffs on Aircraft Parts and European ‘Luxury Goods’ Including Food Products in Response to the World Trade Organization Ruling on an Aerospace Trade Dispute

These tariffs will be devastating to the American consumer, American workers and American companies,” said Philip Marfuggi, president of The Cheese Importers Association of America. We estimate 20,000 plus jobs could be at risk in the cheese business alone.

On Wednesday, October 2, the World Trade Organization announced its ruling allowing the U.S. to impose nearly $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on European Union aircraft parts and luxury goods, including cheese. “These tariffs will be devastating to the American consumer, American workers and American companies,” said Philip Marfuggi, president of The Cheese Importers Association of America (http://www.theciaa.org). “We estimate 20,000 plus jobs could be at risk in the cheese business alone. These new tariffs and the uncertainty regarding more potential tariffs will cause our members and associated companies throughout the supply chain to lay off workers and reduce investment. This is bad for business.” The tariffs are set to begin on October 18th.

The final list of products shows that EU aircraft will face a 10% import tax while other products, namely cheese and other specialty foods, will be hit with additional import duties of 25% ad valorem. The administration states that it has the authority to increase or decrease tariffs whenever it wants and it also can remove or add products to the list.

The top three supplying countries to the United States (U.S.) in 2017 were Italy (with 25.6% market share), France (with 14.0% market share), and Spain (with 8.2% market share). Imported cheese from the EU generates over 3.5 billion dollars in revenue for U.S companies including importers, distributors, retailers and truckers.

“In addition to paying higher prices, American consumers will lose freedom of choice as many specialty cheeses will no longer be imported,” continued Marfuggi. “Those cheeses that are still imported will be priced 30% to 35% higher at store level." Additionally, the CIAA estimates that US tariff revenue will actually drop (estimates are by as much as $60 million or even higher) because importers will no longer bring in many cheese products along with a reduction in sales. American cheese producers’ export business will ultimately be hurt as well because European producers will aggressively market and sell their products to countries that currently buy US-produced cheese.

About the Cheese Importers Association of America
The Cheese Importers Association, Inc. serves its members, the world dairy community and - ultimately - the end consumer by helping to facilitate the efficient import of dairy products from around the world into the United States. The CIAA endeavors to support dairy trade, within the context of compliance with international trade agreements and all applicable US regulations.

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Victoria Cooper