NABI Press Release (2021-9) – May 17, 2021
NABI Congratulates USTR on Trade Policy Developments and Actions on the United States and European Union Tariff Fronts
The National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI), Washington, DC, the only nation-wide association representing importers of wine, distilled spirits, and beer, congratulates USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai on her straight-forward remarks on trade policy development before the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee only to be followed by the joint announcement today of a suspension of the doubling of the European Union (EU) retaliatory tariffs in the steel and aluminum dispute. As EU Trade Commissioner, Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis efforts on the trade and tariff fronts are not to be understated and must be recognized and congratulated.
“Today’s announcement on the EU suspension of the retaliatory tariff doubling and the goal of reaching a steel and aluminum agreement by the end of this year is yet another positive and encouraging step in rebuilding a solid and trustworthy trade alliance” said Robert M. Tobiassen, NABI President, adding “this momentum should lead to a settlement of the Airbus/Boeing disputes within the mutual four-month suspension of tariffs.” In her more than 14 hours of appearing before congressional committees on her confirmation, USTR appropriations, and on the President’s Trade Agenda, Ambassador Tai has consistently and stridently said that she is very seriously about bringing closure to longstanding disputes like Airbus/Boeing and believes that this may be accomplished within the four-month window of the mutual suspensions. Ambassador Tai has linked the temporary suspensions as “worker centric” which is one of the two fundamental keystones of the Biden/Harris Administration—the other being climate change.
Tobiassen said “The goodwill build so far creates a favorable environment for the settlement of the Airbus/Boeing disputes in ways that parallel today’s suspension which fundamentally recognizes the need for a longer term and global solution to the excess steel capacity world-wide. Rules on State support of domestic business entities in the third decade of the 21st Century must truly be re-addressed on the global level in negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO).” He added, “The trade technicians at USTR and the European Commission need to come up with principles or rules and a concrete solution that meets the needs of both the U.S. and EU quickly, so the political decision on the settlement can be made no later than the U.S.-EU Summit scheduled for June 14, 2021, following the G7 Ministerial meeting.”