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Airbus-Boeing dispute truce brings relief on US pork tariffs

24th Jun 2021 / By Alistair Driver

The 25% tariffs imposed on various EU exports to the US, including pork, as a result of the longstanding Airbus-Boeing dispute, have been suspended for five years after a truce was agreed. 

Under the agreement, both sides will remove tariffs on £8.2bn of goods, also including wine, cheese, clothes and tractors, for five years. The tariffs were imposed by both sides during the escalating dispute in October 2019,

Tariffs on UK goods to the US had already been suspended for four months in March while the two sides tried to resolve matters.

Pork and dairy were the two most affected agricultural products – sales of higher welfare pork to the US had dropped by 43% from £32 million to £19m last year, according to AHDB figures.

Other the key products affected included:

  • Whisky and other spirits where exports dropped by 26% from £1.4 billion in 2019 to just over £1 billion last year.
  • Over £54 million of cheese, with the US market key for organic exports. This fell 20% to £44 million last year
  • Close to £7 million of butter, which fell 27% to £5 million last year.

“The agreement reached involves a five-year suspension – but both parties will be looking to reach a longer-term solution,” said AHDB head of strategic insight David Swales.

“Earlier this year talks on a UK free-trade deal with the US stopped, and there are no details on when they might resume.  The US is key market for the UK accounting for around a sixth of the UK’s total trade – more than 10 times as much as with Australia, with whom a deal was struck earlier in the week.”