President Trump threatens higher import taxes on Gouda and Edam cheese
US president Donald Trump is threatening higher taxes on, amongst other things, cheese, wine, helicopters and motorcycles imported from the European Union. These products can be found on a list published by the US government, which details goods that may be subject to higher taxes. The Dutch cheeses Gouda and Edam are among the goods listed.
Millions of euros in import taxes
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the US imported 85 million euros' worth of cheese in 2016, making it the ninth most important destination for Dutch cheese exports. Gouda and Edam cheese are not protected cheese names or styles and are also made in Germany and the US. Nonetheless, these cheeses account for around 50 percent of the 700 tonnes of cheese produced in the Netherlands every year.
The proposed higher taxes for EU imports to the US would amount to 11 billion dollars or 9,8 billion euros. And it is not just Dutch cheese which makes the higher tariff list; products such as certain types of olive oil, yoghurt, rugs and binoculars have also been included.
US retaliation to EU aircraft manufacturer subsidies
This list is the US government’s way of retaliating against the subsidies given by the EU to Airbus, one of the main competitors of the US company Boeing. The financial support of Airbus has had recurring negative effects for the US, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Boeing and the US have been complaining to the WTO about the subsidies since 2014.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer stated, “This case has been in litigation for 14 years, and the time has come for action.” Lighthizer adds that, “When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional US duties imposed in response can be lifted.” The proposed US tariffs would be charged in addition to the existing levies on EU goods.