January 09, 2020
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Jared Golden (D-ME) wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to raise concerns about proposed tariff increases that would harm Maine’s small businesses and consumers.
USTR is currently considering proposals to increase certain tariffs on goods from the European Union to 100 percent, which will have a severe impact on small businesses in the specialty foods and hospitality industries in Maine that import European products. These businesses were originally impacted in October 2019 when the U.S. imposed tariffs of $7.5 billion on European products following a World Trade Organization ruling in October that determined the EU had illegally subsidized its aerospace industry.
“We are writing to reiterate our concerns regarding the effect on the State of Maine of the current trade dispute between the United States and the European Union,” Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden wrote. “There has been an immediate strain on U.S. companies in the specialty foods and hospitality industries that import these products, many of which are small, locally owned businesses. The proposals to increase current tariffs on certain EU goods to 100 percent would pose further strain on these U.S. businesses that employ thousands of Americans, including many in Maine.”
“Addressing unfair trade practices requires a careful approach, and we believe that dialogue is a critical part of the process,” the Maine delegation continued. “Thank you for continuing negotiations with your counterparts in Europe. We encourage the Administration to strive quickly for a solution that protects U.S. industry and jobs and promotes economic growth.”
According to the Maine International Trade Center, in 2018, Maine imported $769 million from the E.U. and exported nearly $370 million in goods and services, making the bloc Maine’s second-largest export market.
Click HERE to read the delegation’s letter.