GENOA (Sputnik) – The Italian Farmers Confederation has asked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to discuss the new US tariffs on agricultural products from the European Union with other European leaders at the upcoming EU summit on October 17-18 and to avoid a dangerous trade war with Washington, IFC President Dino Scanavino said.
“According to the list of products, the food ‘Made in Italy’ that would be hit by the US tariffs is Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, provolone [cheeses] and other dairy foods, as well as clams, citrus fruits, juices and liqueurs. At the same, not affected by tariffs are Italian hams, let alone Prosciutto San Daniele, and Mozzarella of buffalo milk PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). For the time being, the extra-virgin olive oil, pasta, and above all wine, which alone accounts for 35 percent of Italy’s total exports to the United States, have been saved from the tariffs,” Scanavino said.
According to the confederation president, the damage from the new US tariffs to the Italian exports and producers might reach 300 – 400 million euros ($329 – 440 million).
“We must work to find a fair and balanced solution with the United States and avoid a very dangerous trade war. Therefore, we ask the government and premier Giuseppe Conte to continue on the path of diplomacy, using the opportunity of the meeting of the EU heads of state, scheduled for mid-October, to review the question of tariffs,” he added.
On Wednesday, the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office released the list of EU products that would be subject to 25-percent tariffs starting October 18 in retaliation for the EU subsidies to the Airbus aircraft manufacturer, which were deemed illegal under WTO arbitration.
EU-US trade tensions have been mounting since the US administration introduced tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe on May 31, 2018. The next month, the bloc retaliated with 25 percent tariffs on US motorcycles and other items, including whiskey.
According to the USTR new list of taxable EU products, a 10 percent tariff will be imposed on EU-made aircraft and up to 25-percent tariffs on goods ranging from agricultural products to textiles.