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FME and CTA Urge U.S. to Permanently Exempt EU from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Arlington, VA – May 22, 2018 – 
Holland-based technology association FME and the U.S.-based Consumer Technology Association (CTA) today announced their support for a permanent exemption for the European Union (EU) on the U.S.-proposed steel and aluminum tariffs. Both organizations believe the proposed import tariffs are ill-advised, protectionist measurements which will hard Dutch and American innovation economies, businesses and consumers.

FME and CTA urge the Trump Administration to permanently exempt the EU from the announced tariffs on steel and aluminum. More, we ask EU, American and Dutch representatives to work with like-minded trading partners and develop a long-term strategy to pressure nations that do not adhere to the principles of free and fair trade. This long-term strategy must push for greater transparency, competition and respect for patents.

“Protectionism is a job-killing instrument, weakening both the Dutch as well as the American technology industry,” said Ineke Dezentjé Hamming, president, FME. “In the case of steel and aluminum, The Netherlands produce certain types of steel not made in the U.S. The import of Dutch steel and aluminum is therefore vital for U.S. manufacturers.”

"Imposing tariffs creates a dangerous race to the bottom, threatening the U.S. economy and the entire global trading system,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Previously uninvolved sectors will face retaliation, consumer prices will rise and domestic jobs will disappear. Tariffs are bad for the entire global economy.”

The Netherlands is a global leader in production of innovative machinery, particularly semiconductor equipment. In 2017, FME members exported € 5.4 billion worth of technology products to the U.S., making it the second largest export country for the Dutch technology industry. A trade war would have major consequences, forcing American consumers to pay drastically more for Dutch technology products.

CTA and National Retail Federation (NRF) have conducted economic impact studies that show the adminimstration’s proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products will lead to four American jobs lost for every job gained – a net loss of 134,000 U.S. jobs – and TVs from China will increase prices for American consumers, costing an estimated $711 million over the next year.