Lobster-deal gets trade committee backing  

Press Releases 
 
 
  • EU eliminates customs duties on US lobsters 
  • the agreement is conditional on the US reducing duties on certain EU products and not introducing new measures against EU  
  • the mini-deal is regarded as a first step to improve EU-US relations 

Parliament’s Committee on International Trade recommends consenting to the August mini-deal between the EU and the US that removes duties from US lobsters, among others.

The committee supported on 10 November by 40 votes for and two against the agreement reached between the EU and the US in August 2020 (the vote outcome was announced on 11 November). The agreement will eliminate customs duties on live or frozen lobster imported from the US. In exchange, the US will provide duty relief of a comparable economic value on European products, such as prepared meals, certain crystal glassware and cigarette lighters.


The committee gave its consent to the mini-deal in the wake of the US elections as a sign of hope for renewed negotiations between the two parties, despite ongoing disputes due to US-levied duties on European steel and aluminium products.


Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), rapporteur


“Thanks to our engagement, the Commission is now more assertive on the US aluminium tariffs. This, in addition with a new US administration, puts the lobster deal in a new light. Let’s move forward and use this deal as a stepping stone for more constructive transatlantic dialogue”, said the rapporteur who is also the chair of the trade committee.


Next steps

The plenary session of the Parliament now needs to give its consent to the agreement for Council to be able to seal the deal. The agreement will then apply retroactively from 1 August 2020 for five years.


Background

In the first EU-US tariff reduction deal in two decades, the two partners agreed on 21 August to eliminate or reduce customs duties for a small number of tariff lines covering €168 million of EU and US exports. Check the list of products here.