UK textile exports to US to be hit with punitive tariffs
Exports of a range of fashion and textile products from the UK to the US will be hit with a 25 per cent tariff as part of the ongoing dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies granted to both Boeing and Airbus.
The list of products that will be facing a 25 per cent tariff includes cashmere jumpers, anoraks, swimwear and bed linen.
The 25 per cent tariff is in addition to the normal duties which will apply. "The US has threatened to introduce the tariffs as early as October 17, 2019. It has been confirmed that these tariffs will apply even if the UK leaves the European Union with or without a deal," UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) said in a statement.
UKFT CEO Adam Mansell has called on both sides to resolve the 15-year old trade dispute as quickly as possible. "At a time when the industry is facing huge uncertainty over the impact of Brexit, it is devastating that one of our key non-EU markets has imposed such significant tariffs on products that have nothing to do with the aircraft dispute," said Mansell.
"Some of our leading manufacturers will be hit by theses punitive tariffs and that will undoubtedly affect jobs and investment." Simon Cotton, chief executive of Johnstons of Elgin, the largest manufacturer cashmere knitwear in the UK, and a board member of UKFT, said these tariffs will have a significant impact on the UK knitwear industry.
"The US is our third largest export market behind Europe and Japan," he said. "This will have major impact on our knitwear business, as well as the whole of the UK knitwear industry. The US consumer has a great affinity with British high-quality knitwear and we urge all parties involved to come to an agreement quickly for the sake of British manufacturers and US consumers."
"The UK government is clear that resorting to tariffs is not in the interests of the UK, EU or US. We are working closely with the US, EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes," the UK department for international trade (DIT) said in a statement.
"We are also seeking confirmation from the WTO that the UK has complied fully with WTO rulings regarding support to Airbus, and should not be subject to tariffs," the DIT statement said.