US: Urged to make EU jeans tax a priority in trade talks

Publish Date : Jun-13-2013

A group of US lawmakers hav urged the Obama Administration to fight `unfair` European Union (EU) duties on American-made women`s jeans by making the issue a priority in upcoming trade talks.

Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard and three other Los Angeles based lawmakers say the retaliatory tariffs imposed by the EU on US-made products including high-end women`s denim jeans `will severely impact premium denim brands that employ thousands of California workers.`

Tariffs on women`s or girls` cotton denim trousers were hiked from 12% to 38% on May 1.

A letter sent to Acting US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro, adds: `We strongly encourage you to seek a reduction in these duties and request that you make fair market access for American-made denim and other apparel products a priority in your upcoming trade negotiations with the EU.`

According to the lawmakers the price increase will push these jeans out of the reach of many European consumers, hurt American denim producers, put California manufacturing jobs at risk - and may even force US jeans businesses to consider relocating to other countries.

The duty rate hike on jeans and other US exports is a continuation of sanctions authorised by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in retaliation for US failure to fully comply with a ruling against the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000.