Feinstein, Collins, Sinema, Kelly, Colleagues Urge Administration to Support Restaurants and Retailers by Removing Tariffs
Feb 19 2021
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine) and a group of their colleagues to urge President Joe Biden to remove the Section 301 tariffs that have been levied on food, wine, and spirits products imported from the European Union since October 2019. Last week, as part of a regular review, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that tariffs will remain on these products.
“The EU 301 tariffs have been extremely harmful for restaurants, retailers, grocers, importers and distributors, many of which are small, locally owned businesses, magnifying the already catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senators wrote. “The tariffs have driven up the cost of higher quality products, making them much harder to sell, and thus making it much harder to entice new customers.”
“While we have heard from local businesses and their suppliers all over our states about the tariffs’ harm, their utility to U.S. negotiators is less obvious. In place since October 2019, the tariffs have failed in their mission: the EU has not made serious offers in negotiations on commercial aircraft subsidies,” the senators continued. “Vaccine distribution has given the industry much needed cause for optimism, but several more difficult months lie ahead. Tariffs relief now, an action which requires no legislation, would invest in that optimism.”
In October 2019, the United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on $7.5 billion worth of European products following a World Trade Organization ruling that the European Union illegally subsidized Airbus.
In addition to Feinstein, Collins, Sinema, Kelly and King, the letter was signed by Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Click here to read the full letter.