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Joe Biden's trade war with EU continues as wine makers urge US to stop punitive tariffs

Joe Biden’s trade war with EU continues as wine makers urge US to stop punitive tariffs

The Obama administration attempted to strike a trade deal with Brussels known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would have made it easier for American products to be sold in Europe and vice versa. However, both sides failed to come to an agreement and further talks died after Donald Trump became President in 2016. Some in Europe believed the election of Joe Biden in November, who was Mr Obama’s Vice President during the TTIP negotiations, would rekindle the push for free trade across the Atlantic.

However, this does not seem the case.

In January, Mr Biden signed an executive order to tighten “Buy American” requirements in federal government procurement – a first step to fulfilling his campaign promise to bolster the country’s manufacturing sector.

And despite pressure from the EU to repeal the Jones Act to allow greater competition in the shipping sector, administration officials announced Mr Biden will also soon reiterate his support for the law, which requires goods shipped within the US to be transported on American vessels.

Economic tensions between the US and EU were already quite high.

The Trump administration placed billions in tariffs on European goods, and both the US and EU recently concluded a rancorous trade dispute over subsidies to their major aviation companies.

EU wine producers seem to be some of the hardest hit.

Only last month, Washington started collecting fresh duties on wine imports on top of the 25 percent tariffs already in place on French, Spanish and German wine, all of which were imposed as part of the long-running trade fight with the EU at the World Trade Organisation over state subsidies for plane giants Boeing and Airbus.

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