US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the EU has set up “horrific barriers” on US products but a study by the daily Dagens Nyheter indicates that average tariffs are similar on each side of the Atlantic, at some 3-4 per cent into Europe and 2-3 per cent into the US.
“The US is treated as any other third country. From that point of view, there is no discrimination,” says Björn Strenger, trade policy expert at the National Board of Trade (Kommerskollegium).
The president does have a certain point, though, writes the paper: EU tariffs on American agricultural products are around 11.9 per cent, while US tariffs are at 4.8 per cent. The EU duty on cars is 10 per cent, the US duty is 2.5 per cent. Meanwhile, the US tariff on imported trucks is 25 per cent, the EU tariff 22 per cent. Generally, however, tariffs on many of the goods traded are low or non-existent.
Figures show that the US has trade deficits with a number of important trade partners, which has irked the president. But, the trade deficit is not the only problem; trade rules vary from country to country and EU regulation is often stricter, which makes it harder for US companies to export their goods.
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