US tariffs on certain Irish food exports such as butter could jump to 50% if the current EU-US Airbus-Boeing dispute isn’t eased.

That’s the warning from Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey.

He was referring to the ongoing trade feud over state support to plane maker Boeing and its European rival Airbus.

Impact on butter exports

“It’s not only Ireland that has been affected. In recent times, the likes of French wine has been affected as well,” MEP Markey told EuroParlRadio.

“But the Irish situation goes back 18 months at this stage and indications are, if it’s not resolved, the scenario could get worse. There’s talk of a 50% tariff as opposed to a current 25% tariff and that would pretty much rule out all Irish butter exports to America, which is a significant trade.”

The Midlands North-West MEP is hoping the new Biden administration will be more accommodating when it comes to easing punishing tariffs on EU imports.

“You’d hope under the new regime, with a breath of fresh air in The White House, that the doors would be open to more free trade. I think we all recognise the benefits of free trade,” MEP Markey said.

Boeing- Airbus dispute

In October 2019, the US won the largest arbitration award in World Trade Organization (WTO) history in its dispute with the EU over illegal subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

This resulted in the application of additional 25% tariffs on EU agricultural exports to the US, which included Irish food exports such as butter, cheese, liqueurs and pork products.

The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI Committee) has called on the European Commission to call a truce and negotiate a moratorium on trade sanctions with the new Biden Administration in the US.