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Retaliatory Tariff Removal Discussions Press Forward

Since June 2018, the European Union (EU) has applied 25% retaliatory tariffs on the import of select U.S. agricultural products, including dry beans. The tariffs were applied in response to a Section 232 case that resulted in the application of tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum. 
 
Almost since the day the tariffs went into effect, the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) has been advocating for their removal. Earlier this month, the United Kingdom government announced its determination at the conclusion of the commentary period to remove dry beans from the retaliation list. This is expected to take three to four months.
 
At the same time, during several conferences held between U.S. and EU trade authorities on the sidelines of the recent G-7 meeting in the UK, EU trade authorities also announced their optimism that the tariff dispute will be resolved by years’ end.
 
While there are still details to confirm and some more work to be done, indications are the by the end of 2021 the 25% retaliatory tariffs on imports of U.S. dry beans to the UK and the EU will be removed. The USDBC will continue to monitor and report on this situation as soon as final determinations are issued.

Dry Bean Value Proposition Study Results

In March, the U.S. Dry Bean Council commissioned a research project designed to identify the value proposition of U.S. dry beans. This is a critical part of the global marketing strategy to help define and tell the story of what makes U.S. dry beans stand out. This information will be incorporated into future marketing plans. 
 
Consumers in Spain tend to display the strongest recognition scores of the various types of beans. Overall, beans are perceived to be versatile, as they are used for many different occasions in each of the EU countries. In Spain and France, they are used as an entrée/in the center of the plate. The UK scores highest “as an ingredient to use in everyday home-cooked meals”, as well as “a healthy addition to their diet/meals”.
 
Get the full details here.

Dry Bean Trade Policy Update

 
With so much going on in the world of trade policy for dry beans, the U.S. Dry Bean Council has provided a update:
 
China Phase One Agreement
A 5% reduction on dry bean retaliatory import duties to 38%, still not at levels previous to the ongoing trade dispute. We have also learned that Chinese importers can apply for an exemption to bring in U.S. dry beans at previous applied tariff rates.
 
US/UK Trade
Discussions continue on prospects for a US/UK trade agreement as the UK continues to define the terms of its trade regime during the transition Brexit year through the end of 2020. The UK government is holding a consultation period on its MFN tariff levels once Brexit is complete in 2021, this is open to comments through March 5, 2020.
 
US/EU Trade
There is renewed vigor to engage in trade discussions with the EU. Negotiations are starting up again behind the scenes while ongoing retaliatory tariffs remain in place.
 
CAFTA/DR
The CAFTA/DR trade agreement has reached full implementation for US Dry Beans. This means that all U.S. origin dry beans enter the Dominican Republic duty free with no limits on tonnage via TRQs. In many ways this opens the market to more bean imports from the U.S but it is also creating some roadblocks. We are addressing these with both the U.S. and DR governments to ensure full market access.