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Lithuanian manufacturers worried about new U.S. tariffs

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Lithuanian manufacturers have voiced concern over the indirect effects of U.S. import tariffs introduced last week on products such as pork, milk products and others.

Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports on Monday, October 21, that while the U.S. is not the main market for Lithuanian exporters, they fear that big EU producers, forced to sell their produce at home, will create a glut in Europe.

Washington’s tariffs follow a permission from the World Trade Organization to recoup EUR 6.7 billion of alleged losses the U.S. suffered because of EU subsidies for Airbus plane maker.

The plan includes 10-percent duties on Airbus planes and 25 percent for European agricultural products.

The duties apply to Lithuanian dairy products, pork, fruit and juice.

Lithuanian pig farmers say they do not expect to be hit very hard by the tariffs, because exports to the U.S. have been relatively small.

«Meat processors export some produce, but the amounts aren’t big,» says Algis Baravykas, the president of the Pig Growers’ Association. «Sure, there have been efforts to enter this market, […] but so far we shouldn’t put our hopes up about it.»

Lithuania exports much more of its pork to Latvia and Poland than the U.S., Baravykas says, adding that the loss of the Russian market several years ago, when Moscow imposed an embargo on EU food imports in retaliation for sanctions, was a more painful hit.

Read also: Hard Brexit is bad, US-China trade wars are nasty, but Germany matters most

Meanwhile Lithuanian dairy processors fear that the U.S. tariffs will create a glut in Europe.

«One problem is that Lithuanian dairy processors won’t be able to export chesses [to the US]. […] The second problem is that other big EU countries won’t be able to export their chesses. They will stay in Europe and will have to be sold somewhere else, or cheese makers will have to diversify into other products,» says Egidijus Simonis, the head of Pieno Centras, the association of the country’s three biggest dairy processors, LRT reports.

The article originally appeared on LRT English: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1108131/lithuanian-exporters-fear-indirect-effects-of-us-tariff-war


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