‘Punitive’ US tariffs on German biscuits and waffles has impacted heavily on markets

A decision to impose a 25% tariff on sweetened biscuits and waffle ranges exported from Germany to the United States has had a key negative impact on the country’s market, according to the BDSI, the nation’s confectionery trade association.

The German organisation noted that since October 2019, foreign trade sales decreased by early April 2020 compared to the same period last year in the affected product groups by a total of  21.7%. Forecasts for the remainder of 2020 have projected significant declines that will further diminish trade within the segment.

As the BDSI explained, until the punitive tariffs for cookies and waffles were raised, the United States was considered the most important export country for German biscuit manufacturers and confectionery companies outside the EU as a whole. The punitive tariffs are also said to affect the UK, which the BDSI said placed the nations at a competitive disadvantage.

“These punitive tariffs endanger the years of commitment of the German manufacturer of fine baked goods in the USA. But also in Germany this can have a significant impact in terms of jobs, as  the US business is important for many companies utilisation of  production facilities, ”summarises Andreas Nickenig, chairman of the Specialty baked goods division at BDSI. The sector had shown promising signs at this year’s ISM (pictured) held in Cologne.

The industry is urging and therefore hopes for a quick agreement with the Negotiations between the European Commission, which could impact further on whether other items such as natural ingredients are subjected to additional taxation.

Furthermore, the BDSI noted that German companies could potentially set up a European Compensation fund to compensate those who are not involved in the imposition of Punitive tariffs for uninvolved industries in WTO proceedings, as has recently been proposed. It was noted that the US and China already have appropriate instruments to assist businesses that have found themselves caught amid trade dispute scenarios.


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