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TARIFFS REMOVED


DUTIES


N SUSPENDED


Global tariff suspensions offer support to restaurants, food buyers and consumers


ew agreements between the US and the European Union (EU) and between the US and the UK will suspend tariffs that have been levied on imported food and beverage products for the next five years. The new agreements are poised to give restaurants a break, as they rely on these products, which include cheese, olives, wine, seafood and others, to expand menus at better prices. The National Restaurant Association in the US has argued that while the tariffs were in place, they created volatility and uncertainty for an industry that operates on thin profit margins and deals in real time with fluctuations in supply prices. “For two years, the Association pressed for the removal of these tariffs, which were punishing American restaurants and consumers, not the governments or industries involved in the dispute,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “Following the challenges of the pandemic, these tariffs would only have served to cause deeper harm and threaten industry recovery.” Restaurants had been challenged in


a quest to find new suppliers who could meet their needs without significant time delays or cost differences, and many have struggled to afford the changes because of altered supply chains, Kennedy added. In 2019, former President Donald Trump imposed a $7.5bn tariff on 19 categories of European goods, including 25% tariffs on luxury food products. In response, the European Commission instituted 25% tariffs on 130 US products collectively valued at $4bn, according to published reports. Records from the EU show that during the dispute, the US paid $2.2bn in duties, while European imports paid around $1.1bn.


For more go to fcsi.org 117


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