Trump’s government set a number of customs duties, which amount to 7.5 billion euros overall, on annual basis. Starting from next 18th October, such duties are going to affect European commodities imports considerably. The WTO (World Trade Organization) endorsed such measure, imposed in retaliation to financial support supplied by European Union to Airbus industries, from 2011 until 2018. Yet, duties have spared leather goods. In fact, the former list of products to be subject to “retaliatory duties”, made public by US authorities last April, also included leather bags and accessories.
“We have been closely cooperating with our European partners to develop a sound relationship, based on trust, for our exports. We are therefore grateful to Trump’s government for understanding that taxation on European leather products would have been of high detriment to our business”. Stephen Sothmann, president of USHSLA (United States Hide, Skin and Leather Association), most rejoices about the decision made by Trump and his government. “Additional duties, imposed on the leather supply chain, would have frustrated our business action in the European market, which has been going on for years – added the US manager in his release -. On top of that, they would have further undermined our industry, which has been dealing with critical challenges, such as decreasing prices, weak demand and commercial tensions in other countries”. In the last few months, USHSLA firmly urged the government, more than once, to lower its tones in the international disputes. They achieved first victory then: Europe’s market is important for their exports.