Rice Market: EU Retaliatory Tariffs Lifted, Sights Shift to UK Negotiations

    Photo courtesy of US Rice Producers Association

    Last November, the European Commission published a draft regulation formally repealing the 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including milled and broken rice entering the European Union (EU). The tariffs were originally imposed in 2018 in response to U.S. Section 232 tariffs assessed on European steel and aluminum.

    On January 1, the draft regulation was finalized and brought into force, and shipments of U.S. rice will no longer be subject to the additional 25 percent duty. All shipments must still be accompanied by either an official import license, purchased and issued through the tariff rate quota auction process, or pay the standard EU tariffs for milled (€175/MT) and broken (€65/MT) rice.

    The deal brokered last fall by U.S. and EU negotiators to lift the tariffs on both sides could be used as a model for resolution of a similar tariff situation that persists between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

    “We are glad to see the quick implementation of the agreement made last fall and think this is positive news about the future of U.S. rice trade with the EU,” said Mark Holt, rice miller and chair of the USA Rice Subcommittees that oversee Europe, Africa, and Middle East trade policy and promotions. “We can now shift our focus to eliminating the rice tariffs on U.S. rice in the UK, something that has long been a priority for both USA Rice and our counterparts at the UK Rice Association.”

    A timeline in which a deal between the U.S. negotiators and UK government could be reached has not yet been publicly discussed.

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