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BHETA alerts hand tools market to 25% tariffs

BHETA is making members aware of the news that on 14th October, the World Trade Organization (WTO) authorised the USA to impose tariffs on up to $7.5 billion of imports of EU goods as a result of subsidies granted to plane-maker Airbus.

One of the product sectors included is hand tools and the United States has said it will impose 25% duties on these and other products such as French wine, Scottish whiskies and cheese from across the continent, as well as 10% duties on Airbus planes.

BHETA has reviewed the tariff list and the category of significance for members is defined as ‘Electromechanical tools for working in the hand, other than drills or saws, with self-contained electric motors’. Exports of these products to the US will now be subject to additional US import duties of 25%.

The WTO found that Airbus and Boeing received billions of dollars of illegal subsidies in a case that has run for over 10 years. The WTO’s dispute settlement body, made up of representatives from 164 countries, cleared Washington to take measures against the EU and Airbus-producing countries Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom urged the US to find a negotiated settlement of the Airbus and Boeing cases, adding that resorting to tariffs was not a solution, “It would only inflict damage on businesses and put at risk jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time,” reported Reuters.

Will Jones, Chief Operating Officer of BHETA, said, “It’s very unfortunate for hand tools manufacturers to be arbitrarily chosen to bear this impact on their price competitiveness when they have done nothing wrong.  We will keep a close eye on the US Government’s actions and keep our members informed, particularly with a view to a second potential hit when the Boeing dispute is expected to be finalised in 2021 with the possibility of further tariffs”.

For more information, contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130

Source: BHETA, October 2019

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