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Conversation between Undersecretary Scalfarotto and Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) Jeffrey Gerrish

Rome, July 28, 2020. Undersecretary Scalfarotto had a telephone conversation today with Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) Jeffrey Gerrish on the issue of transatlantic trade relations and in particular on the issue of the periodic review of the duty regime that the United States has the power to impose following the WTO ruling on Airbus subsidies.

As known, in fact, in 2019 Italian products were affected above all in the agri-food sector with customs tariffs left unchanged during the latest revision last February (following the visit to Washington by Scalfarotto himself), despite the incremental margins that the WTO ruling would have recognized to the United States.

At the center of the talks was the importance of preserving the partnership between Italy and the United States and the absolute need to avoid additional tariffs that were certainly harmful to both economic systems in this post Covid crisis and not positive for the overall state of transatlantic relations.

“Italy, even though it is not a member of the Airbus Consortium, has been unjustly affected by duties imposed on its products” underlined Undersecretary Scalfarotto. “For this reason, on the occasion of every meeting with the Governments of Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom in recent months, we recalled the need to review their public subsidy regime in order to comply with the provisions of the Appellate Body of the ‘WTO.

As I was able to point out to Deputy USTR Gerrish during today’s meeting, the announcement last week by Commissioner Hogan of the elimination of subsidies on Airbus funding by Germany and Spain (in line with what is required by the WTO), rewards our efforts and goes exactly in the direction we want. I therefore reminded the Deputy USTR Gerrish, in light of the joint work carried out by Italy and the United States on this matter following our meeting in Washington at the end of January, not only the hope that Made in Italy will not be further penalized at the conclusion of the ongoing review, but also that we can cooperate to get rid of the duties imposed in 2019 especially on cheeses and alcoholic beverages”