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Alert: Upcoming U.S. Tariff Hikes on Billions Worth of French and German Imports

Posted January 06, 2021

Two trade actions by the Trump administration taking effect this month in connection with disputes over France’s new digital services tax and with the European Union in connection with the long-running Airbus-Boeing subsidy fight are set to raise tariffs on billions worth of imports from Europe.  
French/German Wine/Cognac, Soap, Hndbag, w/ US Money, POTUS Seal and Flags of US and EU

U.S. Section 301 Tariffs on Certain French Imports (DST Dispute) 

As reported previously, the Office of the United States Trade Representative last July announced its intention to hit certain French products worth an estimated $2.4 billion with additional duties of 25%, effective January 6, 2021, in response to that country's digital services tax, which the Trump administration claims unfairly targets U.S. technology giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

In a statement at the time, USTR Robert Lighthizer said the administration's Section 301 enforcement action “sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies.”


Scope of Coverage

The additional 25% tariff under the Sec. 301 trade action applies, effective on or after January 6, 2021, to certain cosmetics, soap, skin cleansers, and handbags (described in Annex B to the Federal Register notice) covered by Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes 3304.10.00, 3304.20.00, 3304.30.00, 3304.91.00, 3304.99.50, 3401.11.10, 3401.11.50, 3401.19.00, 3401.20.00, 3401.30.10, 3401.30.50, 4202.21.30, 4202.21.60, 4202.21.90, 4202.22.15, 4202.22.40, 4202.22.45, 4202.22.60, 4202.22.70, 4202.22.81, and 4202.22.89.


Additional Tariffs on French & German Imports (WTO Dispute)

As noted in our most recent “Weekly Trade Briefing,” the Trump administration last week announced the imposition of tariffs on an additional $4 billion worth of European imports in response to calculations made by the European Union that it says “unfairly” increased the amount of retaliation against the U.S. for subsidies provided to Boeing that had been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.


Scope of Coverage

The additional products subject to the retaliatory tariffs, effective on or after January 12, 2021, include certain aircraft manufacturing parts from France and Germany, non-sparkling wine from France and Germany, and cognac and other grape brandies from France and Germany. More specific details in this regard can be found in the Annex of the Federal Register notice published today.


Need More Information?

Should you have any questions about these additional tariffs on various European imports, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable trade experts.

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