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EU Lists Tariff Targets       03/16 15:48

   Report Points to Industries at Risk of Job Losses Due to Metal Tariffs

   The European Commission on Friday released the full list of U.S. products to 
face retaliatory tariffs due to the Trump administration's push for tariffs on 
steel and aluminum imports. Several agricultural commodities were listed, 
including rice, cranberries and sweet corn.

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

   OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. rice, cranberries, sweet corn, orange juice, kidney 
beans, peanut butter, tobacco and whiskey are among the agricultural products 
listed by the European Union to face retaliatory tariffs in Europe due to the 
Trump administration's push for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

   The European Commission released the full list of products on Friday, which 
includes a long list of various metal products, as well as consumer items 
ranging from t-shirts and jeans to motorcycles, home appliances and power 
boats. EU officials released the list as part of a 10-day comment period for 
affected people to make their case to the EU Commission about why a particular 
product should be included or exempt from the tariffs.

   The EU exports about $6 billion in steel to the U.S., as well as about $1.2 
billion in aluminum. President Donald Trump, arguing steel and aluminum imports 
are a threat to national security, announced last week his administration would 
impose a 25% tariff on most steel imports and a 10% tariff on most aluminum 
imports. Canada and Mexico are exempted from these tariffs, for now.

   The overall impact dollar-wise is small in the grand scheme of U.S. 
agricultural exports forecast at $139.5 billion, but a few products will be hit 
harder than others.

   The executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers told 
Bloomberg News earlier this week that the industry exports about 95 million 
pounds of cranberries to the EU, or about 12% of U.S. production.

   The EU is not a major buyer of U.S. rice compared to other countries, but 
does account for about $42 million in sales, according to USA Rice. For the 
2017-18 marketing year, which ends July 31, the U.S. has seen commitments for 
16,411 metric tons of rice sold to the EU, according to USDA export data.

   The U.S. is among the top exporters of oranges to the EU, but the U.S. is 
the third-largest foreign supplier of orange juice at 15,000 metric tons for 
the 2016-17 marketing year. Still, the volume pales in comparison to how much 
the EU imports orange juice from Brazil (591,000 mt) and Mexico (34,370 mt). 

   Cranberries are a relatively small crop, but Wisconsin is the largest state 
for cranberries, producing about 62% of the crop in 2017, according to NASS. 
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the other major 
cranberry-producing states.

   A coalition of agribusiness groups, Americans for Farmers and Families, 
expressed concern about the EU list, stating that the potential for retaliatory 
tariffs "is not a zero-sum game."

   Joshua Baca, a spokesman for the coalition, said, "Rural America will feel 
the impact of retaliatory tariffs quicker than any other industry. Americans 
for Farmers and Families wants to ensure that action taken on trade policy 
protects our farmers, the food and agriculture industries, and does not 
compromise negotiations for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement."

   Baca called on the Trump administration to reconsider the tariffs. 

   A report on the job impacts of the tariffs was also released earlier this 
week. Agriculture would lose nearly as many jobs as an industry as the steel 
and aluminum industries would gain from President Trump's steel and aluminum 

   The report by the Washington, D.C.-based firm Trade Partnership Worldwide 
LLC stated agriculture would lose 24,054 jobs while the food-processing 
industry would lose another 6,000 jobs. The tariffs could increase employment 
in the steel and aluminum industries by 26,346 workers, the report stated.

   The report states 18 jobs would be lost for every job gained and would cost 
as many as 495,136 jobs in the process. California, Texas, New York and Florida 
would see the most jobs lost, losing a combined 158,700 jobs. 

   For the full list of items from the U.S. that could face EU tariffs, visit: 

   Chris Clayton can be reached at 

   Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN 


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