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EU-US trade dispute continues; leathergoods should be safe

The World Trade Organisation has told the US it can impose new tariffs or withdraw tariff concessions on $7.5 billion worth of products it imports from the European Union. 

It said in a statement on October 2 that circumstances surrounding subsidies that European Union states have paid to aircraft manufacturer Airbus are “serious enough” to justify these counter-measures. Luxury leathergoods had been mentioned for possible inclusion among the European products likely to suffer, but the US Hide Skin and Leather Association said it had persuaded the US government to exempt these products, arguing that many of them are made with US hides.

European trade commission, Cecilia Malmström, urged the US not to apply the counter-measures to any product, saying that to do so would be “short-sighted and counter-productive”. She pointed out that the US and the European Union have both been found to be “at fault for continuing to provide certain unlawful subsidies to aircraft manufacturers”, to Airbus in the case of Europe and to Boeing in the case of the US.

Because of the Boeing situation, Ms Malmström went on to say that the World Trade Organisation is likely to grant the European Union the right to impose counter-measures against the US. The list of products likely to be affected by this also includes some things made from leather, such as luggage, handbags and small leathergoods.

She said: “The mutual imposition of counter-measures would inflict damage on businesses and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic and harm global trade at a sensitive time.”


Image: Longchamp




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