France most affected by US import tariffs

© Nikki van Toorn
The retaliatory tariffs recently imposed by the US on competing industrial goods from the European Union have hit France the hardest. These include aircraft and wine with a total export value of 2.7 billion euros in 2018. Both German and British exports have been hit relatively hard as well. Dutch exports are barely affected by the countermeasures, with the exception of specific cheese varieties. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) based on an analysis of US trade data.

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The punitive measures, which were approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO), were taken in response to illegal subsidies on exports from European member states. Exports affected by the US import tariffs were worth nearly 8 billion euros in 2018. No less than 82 percent of this amount hit France (34 percent), Germany (28 percent) and the United Kingdom (20 percent). Only 0.5 percent of the affected exports (38 million euros) concern Dutch domestic goods. These are direct exports only; supplies to exporters in other countries have not been included.
The figures presented here do not describe the actual effect of the US tariffs (as this is still unknown), but merely the size of EU exports which are affected by the tariffs.

Exports of aircraft, food and alcoholic beverages most affected

The European export commodities that are most heavily affected by the US tariffs introduced recently are mainly those which are in global competition with similar products from the United States. Examples are French and German aircraft, French and Spanish wines, German machinery, Scottish and Irish whiskies, Italian and Irish liqueurs, Spanish olive oil, Italian cheese, Irish butter and Dutch cheese.
Most significantly affected are alcoholic beverages (3.6 billion euros), followed by aircraft (3.5 billion euros), food (1.4 billion) and machinery (0.5 billion). France and Germany are hit hardest by the tariffs on aircraft, while the United Kingdom is largely affected by the tariffs on alcohol. The Netherlands is affected by tariffs on specific cheese varieties, including Dutch Emmentaler and cheese substitutes.

Composition of exports affected by US tariffs, 2018
LandAircraft (bn euros)Food (bn euros)Alcohol (bn euros)Machinery (bn euros)Other (bn euros)
Other EU countries00.030000
Source: CBS, US Census

Cyprus, Spain and the UK hit relatively hard

The French economy is affected most heavily at more than 6 percent of total goods exports to the US in 2019. Other countries that are hit relatively hard by the US tariffs include Cyprus and Spain (nearly 4 percent) and the United Kingdom (around 3 percent). Thanks to the large size and wide range of its exports, Germany is affected less severely at just over 2 percent.
Dutch domestic exports accounted for 0.2 percent of the total amount in goods exports to the United States in both years. The average across the EU is nearly 2 percent of total EU exports.

Share of affected exports in total exports to the United States
LandJan-Aug 2019 (%)Jan-Aug 2018 (%)
United Kingdom3.12.7
European Union1.81.9
Source: CBS, US Census

An analysis of the most recent figures over the first eight months of 2019 shows that the range of EU exports being hit by US sanctions was exactly the same as in the first eight months of 2018. For the Netherlands, the affected range is several millions of euros higher in 2019 than in 2018.
On 12 December, CBS will release a new edition of the quarterly Internationalisation Monitor, which zooms in on trade barriers such as tariffs and other policy instruments in conjunction with the quality of Dutch exports.