Motion for a resolution - B9-0203/2019Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute

25.11.2019 - (2019/2895(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Irène Tolleret, Ulrike Müller, Sheila Ritchie, Jérémy Decerle, Atidzhe Alieva‑Veli, Billy Kelleher, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne, Jordi Cañas
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0197/2019

Procedure : 2019/2895(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the decision taken by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arbitrator in the Airbus subsidy dispute (DS316) on 2 October 2019, authorising US countermeasures on EU exports worth USD 7.5 billion (EUR 6.8 billion),

 having regard to the formal decision taken by the WTO’s dispute settlement body on 14 October giving the green light to those countermeasures,

 having regard to the US decision to introduce a new tariff of 25 % ad valorem on some agri-food products and some non-agricultural products and 10 % ad valorem on non-agricultural products, as of 18 October 2019,

 having regard to relevant articles in Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on information provision and promotion measures concerning agricultural products implemented in the internal market and in third countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 3/2008[1],

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the USA is the number one destination for agricultural exports from the EU-28, having accounted for EUR 22.3 billion in 2018; whereas such exports help to maintain a positive trade balance with the US;

B. whereas EU agri-food exports worth EUR 4.3 billion (60 % of the total value of countermeasures) will be hit by the new tariffs, which will be equivalent to EUR 1.1 billion;

C. whereas the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Ireland are, in that order, the main countries affected by the US decision, accounting for 97 % of the total exports exposed to the new tariffs; whereas the agri-food sectors in other Member States will also be adversely affected;

D. whereas the main agricultural products targeted by the US sanctions will be emblematic EU products with a very high added value (single malt scotch whisky, wine, olive oil and dairy products such as butter and cheese, and products such as cashmere), which will be exposed to 92 % of the new US countermeasures on trade;

E. whereas other agri-food products, such as table olives, pork, coffee, sweet biscuits, processed fruit, fresh citrus, mussels and liquors are also targeted, albeit to a lesser extent;

F. whereas farmers and operators in the agri-food chain are, once again, victims of a non-agricultural trade conflict and the US decision to apply these tariffs will stand indefinitely until the Member States comply with the WTO resolution on the Airbus dispute;

G. whereas the US countermeasures will add more instability to the EU internal market, which is already having to contend with the disturbance caused by the Russian ban and is having to prepare for the economic fall-out from a potential UK withdrawal from the EU;

H. whereas the USA may, according to provisions in US law, introduce a so-called tariff carousel that would have a knock-on effect on other products and amplify the economic consequences of the countermeasures, and have a disproportionate impact on bilateral trade, since it would significantly disrupt export flows to the US;

I. whereas for some sectors, like olive oil, the US decision will further jeopardise the already fragile situation of the internal market, while for other sectors such as wine, whisky and dairy, it risks causing serious disturbances in the market overall; whereas such a decision would therefore threaten growth, investment and job creation and lead to a significant loss of competitiveness and market share – which has taken years to establish and from which it will be difficult to recover;

J. whereas the products targeted by the new tariffs may incur considerable price increases at the level of the consumer; whereas most of these products can be replaced by alternatives from other origins;

K. whereas according to the current EU rules, promotion campaigns that have already been approved and target the US market cannot be reprogrammed, and some actions that have already been taken to promote very high value products may prove to be fruitless if the US tariffs are to be applied;

L. whereas EU agriculture is increasingly integrated in international markets, thus underlining the importance of constructive trade relations overall and of maintaining a food supply chain with high-quality produce that meets customers’ demand;

1. Expresses its deep concern over the fact that the US decision to impose countermeasures on the EU as a result of the Airbus dispute will not only have a significant negative impact on those Member States and products targeted, but also on the whole agricultural sector and along the agri-food chain across the EU;

2. Expresses its deep regret over the USA's lack of engagement with the EU’s attempts to find a timely negotiated solution ahead of the application of the tariffs; underlines its concern over the fact that, so far, the US has refused to work with the EU on a timely solution for our respective aircraft industries in the context of the long-standing Airbus-Boeing dispute;

3. Supports the Commission in its efforts and urges it to continue trying to find negotiated solutions to dilute the current trade tensions between the two parties;

4. Calls on the Commission to closely monitor the EU market along the entire food supply chain, in order to ascertain any disturbances that arise from the application of these tariffs and the knock-on effect of products displaced from the food supply chain;

5. Notes that the Commission has the option to file a complaint before the WTO if the USA applies a tariff carousel, which would have a knock-on effect on a number of products; highlights the disproportionate effect that a tariff carousel would have on EU exports to the USA;

6. Urges the Commission to investigate the impact of these countermeasures on the sectors affected and the internal market, and where justified, in accordance with WTO rules and within the limits of the budget, to mobilise rapid support for the sectors worst affected by these tariffs and to consider the use of common agricultural policy (CAP) measures to deal with disturbances in the internal market;

7. Calls on the Commission to review the current secondary legislation on the sectoral and horizontal promotion regulations to allow more flexibility in how such promotional campaigns are run in third countries in order to enable operators to be responsive and strengthen their actions in the USA and to counter the impact on consumers, or refocus, when needed, on alternative markets by re-programming activities that have already been approved for the US market; stresses that EU operators should not be penalised for adapting the current promotion actions as a direct response to US countermeasures;

8. Calls on the Commission to allow more flexibility when it comes to applying the sectoral promotion measures defined in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council regulations EEC No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007[2] in order to allow operators to extend the duration of their campaigns in the US;

9. Calls on the Commission to undertake horizontal information and promotion measures that may take the form of high-level missions, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions of international importance aimed at enhancing the image and increasing the promotion of the products concerned, in line with Articles 2 and 9 of Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014;

10. Notes that, due to this specific market problem, the Commission could consider using the provisions laid out in Articles 15 and 19 of Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014 in order to assist operators;

11. Requests that the Commission approve additional calls, accompanied by an increase in promotion allocations for 2019, as the annual budget has already been committed, in order to prevent any delay in reacting quickly to the US countermeasures;

12. Supports enhancing EU regulations on promoting EU agricultural products to assist operators in enlarging and consolidating their position in third markets and in finding new outlets for EU products in view of the CAP reform and the next revision of the horizontal promotion regulation;

13. Stresses the need to secure market access for the products affected by eliminating the persistent technical obstacles which have prevented operators from taking full advantage of the export possibilities under other trade agreements;

14. Reiterates its commitment to free trade and open markets and highlights the importance of constructive trade relations between the EU and the US;

15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


Last updated: 27 November 2019
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