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US levies tariffs on UK textiles

The US has imposed a 25 per cent tariff on fashion and textile products from the UK. The clothing and textiles of the UK affected by the decision include wool, cotton and cashmere sweaters, windbreakers and jackets, men’s and boys’ suits, women’s and girls’ pajamas, women’s and girls’ swimwear, blankets and bed linen.

Tariffs will apply even if the UK leaves the European Union with or without a deal. They are part of the ongoing dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies granted to Boeing and Airbus. The UK feels the US has imposed significant tariffs on products that have nothing to do with the aircraft dispute. The US is a key non-EU market for the UK. The US is the third largest export market for the UK behind Europe and Japan. This will have a major impact on the UK knitwear industry. Leading manufacturers will be hit by these punitive tariffs and that will affect jobs and investment. The US consumer happens to have a great affinity with high quality British knitwear.

The US believes subsidies paid by certain EU member states to French aircraft maker Airbus harmed the US industry. In the dispute, which began in 2004, the United States argued that the EU gave Airbus billions of dollars of launch aid that resulted in an unfair advantage for Airbus.