GENOA (Sputnik) – The European Union should develop an urgent intervention plan to mitigate the negative effects from the new US tariffs on the Italian cheese and other popular European food products, Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Parmigiano Reggiano (the official name of the original Parmesan cheese) Consortium, said.
Italian cheese — in particular, Pecorino, Parmesan and Provolone — Italian ham, French wine, and Scotch whisky are among the products that have been targeted.
“Italy, which has nothing to do with the Airbus consortium (France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom are part of it), now has to pay a truly senseless price. At this point, an extraordinary European Union intervention plan is needed in order to prevent the traumatic effects of the duties on the supply chains involved,” Bertinelli said in a written statement obtained by Sputnik.
The US market is the second-biggest export market for Parmigiano Reggiano. With the new tariffs, the price for a kilo will rise from current 2.15 US dollars to around six dollars.
“Parmigiano Reggiano is a very high-quality product. We will do our best to ensure that American consumers are aware of the value of our ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ [PDO] products, so that they prefer to spend a few dollars more to get the authentic ‘King of Cheese’ on their tables,” the president of the consortium said.
Cheese producers are “embittered because one of the strongest sectors” of the economy was hit, Bertinelli said.
Italian wine, pasta and olive oil do not fall under sanctions.
According to Coldiretti association, representing Italian agricultural producers, the damage from the new US tariffs to the Italian agriculture would amount to 500 million euro (about $550 million) per year.
However, the WTO is expected to rule later this year on the tariffs that the European Union may impose over the illegal subsidies received by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
On Wednesday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled on what tariffs the United States can impose on EU goods, following the WTO decision earlier this year that EU aircraft manufacturer Airbus had benefited from unfair subsidies. The US Trade Representative’s office released the list of EU agricultural products that would be subject to 25-percent tariffs starting from October 18.