November 05, 2019
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, calling on him to alleviate the economic hardship affecting Maine businesses as a result of the current trade dispute between the United States and the European Union.
In October 2019, the U.S. imposed tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European products following a World Trade Organization ruling that the European Union illegally subsidized Airbus. The Maine delegation has heard from multiple Maine employers who were harmed by these tariffs.
“Tariffs imposed by both the U.S. and the E.U. are hurting businesses and consumers in our state. As negotiations continue, we encourage you to avoid subjecting Maine to economic harm,” Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden wrote. “There has been an immediate strain on companies in the specialty foods and hospitality industries, many of which are small, locally-owned businesses. While we oppose the E.U. efforts to subsidize Airbus, we also recognize that tariffs can cause harm to American jobs and increase the price of goods for American consumers.”
“Addressing unfair trade practices requires a careful approach, and we believe that dialogue is a critical part of the process,” the Maine delegation continued. “We encourage the Administration to strive quickly for a solution that protects U.S. industry and jobs and promotes economic growth.”
In their letter, the Maine delegation also noted that the 25 percent retaliatory tariffs that the European Union imposed in June 2018 on U.S. goods in response to Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs have been detrimental to other industries in Maine, including marine and manufacturing businesses.
In 2018, Maine imported $769 million from the European Union and exported nearly $370 million in goods and services, making the bloc our second largest export market. A total of $2.3 million worth of Maine exports have been targeted with tariffs by the European Union.
Click HERE to read the delegation’s letter