Fashion and textile products from the UK will be facing a 25% tariff in addition to the normal duties to the US market as part of the ongoing dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies granted to both Boeing and Airbus as the US has threatened to introduce the tariffs by October 17, 2019.
The clothing and textiles of the UK affected by the decision include wool, cotton and cashmere sweaters; windbreakers and jackets; men’s and boy’s suits; women’s and girls’ pajamas; women’s and girls’ swimwear; blankets; and bed linen.
“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.
Barring a settlement or an end to seven years of argument over whether Europe has complied with earlier WTO findings – neither of which looks imminent, according to trade sources – tariffs could start to bite as Britain plans to leave the EU.
“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.”
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 the 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.
US is the third-largest export market for the UK behind Europe and Japan. This will have a major impact on their 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 they urged all parties involved to come to an agreement quickly for the sake of British manufacturers and US consumers.