The Irish agri-sector is “in a far less hostile trade environment” following the suspension of US tariffs announced last Friday (March 5), according to one TD.

Speaking over the weekend, independent TD Carol Nolan welcomed the four-month suspension of tariffs, which is aimed at resolving a long-running dispute over two aircraft manufacturers.

On Friday evening, it was announced that the EU and US had agreed to suspend all retaliatory tariffs on each other’s exports imposed in the Airbus and Boeing dispute.

The suspension will see hefty tariffs dropped from Irish dairy and pork goods destined for the US.

Irish products which had been subject to additional import duties of 25% included: single-malt Irish whiskey; liqueurs; cheese; pork; yogurt; butter; dairy spreads; fats and oils derived from milk; and a variety of seafood.

“Efforts to allow the imposition of punitive tariffs on elements of the Irish agri-food sector would have [had] devastating consequences in terms of undermining overall competitiveness,” the Laois-Offaly TD said.

Nolan said she had recently requested that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine convene for an emergency debate on the issue.

Thankfully the need for this has now abated and after a 16-year long dispute we appear to be in a far less hostile trade environment, at least with respect to the tariffs.

Noting that the suspension is only for four months, the TD said: “I think in light of that, every effort needs to be made to ensure that this positive development is embedded as a permanent decision from which there will be no return.”