Joe Biden and the E.U. Move To Lift Trump's Food Tariffs

Trade news worth celebrating with a fine French wine.


During his first presidential visit to Europe, President Joe Biden and his European Union counterparts this week hammered out an important agreement to suspend pointless retaliatory tariffs targeting a host of foods. The Washington Post called this week's agreement, which suspends the tariffs for five years, "a significant step in calming trade relations after the fury of the Trump years."

As I've detailed several times in recent years, the tariffs arose out of a longstanding dispute (and subsequent World Trade Organization rulings) over dueling subsidies doled out, respectively, by the U.S. to domestic airplane manufacturer Boeing and by the E.U. to bloc aircraft maker Airbus.

Rather than limiting that dispute to airplanes, the Trump administration and E.U. foolishly escalated and expanded the conflict. In 2019, the Trump administration, the Wall Street Journal noted this week, turned the dispute "into a tariff fight that snared food and beverage industries unrelated to aircraft manufacturing." That tariff fight "saw tit-for-tat duties slapped on a range of companies that have nothing to do with aircraft production, from French winemakers to German cookie bakers in Europe and U.S. spirits producers in the United States, among many others," CBS News reported.

This week's lifting of tariffs builds on an earlier temporary agreement between the Biden administration and E.U. leaders, reached in March, that lifted tariffs on a host of foods, including wines, whiskey, cheese, olives, nuts, and cherries.

Those tariffs harmed foreign and domestic food producers and consumers alike. Their predictable negative impact has been widespread.

I was one of many to forecast, in a 2018 column, that Trump's food tariffs would cost jobs and hurt U.S. and foreign producers, consumers, and taxpayers. Sure enough, in a column one year later on the impact of those tariffs, I noted a study published by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit that focuses on trade issues, that found the Trump administration's tariffs would cost the average American consumer more than $600 per year. More recently, in an excellent piece last week on Kentucky's historic James E. Pepper whiskey distillery, CNN reported Trump's tariffs had caused the whiskey maker to lose three-quarters of its European business.

Shortly after Biden's election victory, I urged him to lift all of Trump's food tariffs. After Biden's inauguration, I joined dozens of food industry groups and others in urging him to eliminate those food tariffs.

The suspension of these U.S. and E.U. food tariffs is timely. Growing domestic and foreign demand for meat, coupled with increased feed and energy costs, has driven up consumer prices for steaks and bacon. But tofu is pricier, too. This broad food inflation is causing sticker shock for consumers. Lifting these pointless food tariffs should help businesses grow while letting consumers keep more of their earnings.

This week's agreement, though very good, is imperfect. It leaves some non-food tariffs still in place. And the agreement could evaporate after five years—or sooner if the E.U. violates the terms of the agreement, notes senior Biden administration official Katherine Tai. This week's agreement also doesn't impact equally lousy Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods. And, in the wake of Brexit, while the E.U. and the United Kingdom are busy playing tariff games that hurt members of each bloc—including Irish dairy and whiskey producers—there's always the chance new tariffs could arise and target the United States.

Tariffs—whether targeting food or other goods—are grounded in an unwelcome mix of nationalism and a misunderstanding of the benefits of free trade. They harm consumers and producers alike. They're a lose-lose proposition. While I'd have preferred the Biden administration lift all food tariffs as soon as he took office, Pres. Biden deserves credit for reducing barriers to freer trade for all Americans.

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  1. “This week’s agreement, though very good, is imperfect.”

    I agree! Economically deleterious though they may be, tariffs DO raise funds for Government Almighty! Now that these vitally essential funds are reduced, HOW will Government Almighty PROTECT us all from dangerous unprescribed medical implements of destruction, such as cheap plastic flutes!??!?

    Stay ye SAFE from the flute police!

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

    1. Stupid comment.

      1. Stupid commenter. Needs more “smart pills” from underneath the rabbit hutch!

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    2. You’ve a valid point as all taxes harm those who pay them, and tariffs are as good or bad a tax as any tax. The Federal government used to run almost entirely on tariffs. Yet we need taxes to run the government; a point missed by the author.

      As a long time libertarian, I supported no tariffs for many years, but I changed my mind after reading about the Ultimatum Game as applied to trade, and now see tariffs as a negotiating tool to get foreign countries to free up their economy including eliminating tariffs. Linnekin says tariffs are a “lose-lose proposition” but not when used as a bargaining chip to get our trading partners to remove their tariffs. US tariffs aren’t the only taxes foreigners and foreign countries don’t have to pay (yes US consumers pay for them in the end), but foreign are very concerned about them because it affects their trade income. We should use that leverage to reduce tariffs for everyone rather than allowing foreign countries to use them against us.

      1. Yeah… How did this angle not make it into the article?

        1. Funny that.

      2. “As a long time libertarian, I supported no tariffs for many years, but I changed my mind after reading about the Ultimatum Game as applied to trade, and now see tariffs as a negotiating tool to get foreign countries to free up their economy including eliminating tariffs.”

        So you stopped being a libertarian.

      3. “and now see tariffs as a negotiating tool to get foreign countries to free up their economy including eliminating tariffs.”

        This makes sense. This is why i beat my children. It’s the only way to teach them hitting is wrong.

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  2. It won’t take long for those protectionist central planner bureaucrats in the EU to find something else to tariff or an industry to subsidize.

    1. There is a shit ton still under tariffs for the EU. This article is in the long line of other countries are fine, us is wrong.

    2. Tariffs are bad, mmmmmkay?

    3. Japan and Europe moved to the “regulations” tactic 30+ years ago for their protectionism.

      Back when the US textile industry was still a thing, Japan protected their textile manufacturers with arbitrary enforcement of vague rules. One specific one that I remember blocking the import of US textiles was a regulator’s ruling that US washcloths were too thick to fit in Japanese ears.

      US dominance in genetically modified crops has massively increased food production, something that will only accelerate as incredible new technologies involving c3 and c4 photosynthesis come online. The EU has a fix for this. They ban GMO foods where the US production would put their farmers out of business. Done and done!

      I suppose that one will eventually fix itself. Word has it that the combination of various GMO techniques that are coming over the next decade or so has the potential to more than double output per acre. If that is true, nobody is going to stand athwart that tide. But I am sure they will come up with some way to regulate themselves into a protectionist stance.

      1. And there’s no way that Linnekin with his background doesn’t know that, but we still get this gaslighting horseshit.

      2. There are a lot of EU tariffs simply to protect their industries. The one on GMO is not. There is a generous resistance against GMO in the EU public (e.g. 88% in Germany). This resistance has been reflected – despite heavy lobbying by industry – in legislation in a number of member countries (https://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/eu.php) The EU Commission has been far mire GMO-friendly. Tariffs on US GMO rather than protect EU industry reflect the overwhelming anti-GMO sentiment of the EU public.

      3. There are a lot of EU tariffs simply to protect their industries. The one on GMO is not. There is a generous resistance against GMO in the EU public (e.g. 88% in Germany). This resistance has been reflected – despite heavy lobbying by industry – in legislation in a number of member countries (https://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/eu.php) The EU Commission has been far more GMO-friendly. Tariffs on US GMO rather than protect EU industry reflect the overwhelming anti-GMO sentiment of the EU public.

        1. Oops: “general”

    4. Take away the terrifs but they added a global tax not a win

  3. This article seems to imply that the tariffs between europe/China were near non existent prior to trump. They were and continue to be fairly onerous. 2018, as an example, saw Europe implementing some fairly heavy tariffs on various metal imports.

    It would be good if these articles didn’t imply oy US tariffs were onerous. There was some hint of it when speaking of the EU possibly breaking the agreement. But in reality Europe and China have both long had tariffs prior to trump. China also commits billions in theft yearly through corporate espionage, raising domestic prices as well (something Reason ignores as a rule).

    1. He’s quite clear that the original EU tariffs were fine and the only issue here is the US retaliation. You know, typical America Last Democrat.

  4. If anyone missed it….

    The New Hampshire Libertarian Party (old guard) attempted a takeover of the party by kicking everyone out and unilaterally instituting new bylaws through a single person. This was done on what they believed was an unwoke uprising of new members taking bolder actions nationally. The old guard wanted to remain in power and unconsequential. So they attempted to shut down new ideas on the party. Yes, they labeled the new generation trumpists and racists. Even using Jan 6th as a reason to stop the new guard from replacing the old guard.


    1. Oh Jesse, relax! We all know that the war to institute total and complete libertarian ideology in America will be won in small steps and in tiny battles because of Americans. They know not what they want! Our betters won this battle but we will win the next battle.

      1. “Our betters won this battle but we will win the next battle?!?!?!”

        Very well, then, Mr. Knox, sir.

        Let’s have a little talk about tweetle beetles….

        What do you know about tweetle beetles? Well…

        When tweetle beetles fight,
        it’s called a tweetle beetle battle.

        And when they battle in a puddle,
        it’s a tweetle beetle puddle battle.

        AND when tweetle beetles battle with paddles in a puddle,
        they call it a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle.


        When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle
        and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle…
        …they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.


        When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles
        and the bottle’s on a poodle and the poodle’s eating noodles…
        …they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle
        bottle paddle battle.


        Now wait a minute, Mr. Socks Fox!

        When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle
        with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle,
        THIS is what they call…

        …a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled
        muddled duddled fuddled wuddled fox in socks, sir!

        Fox in socks, our game is done, sir.
        Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.

        1. That’s what I like about you SQRLSY, you have a way with word that individuals like Jesse have a hard time with. Thus why we will never have total and complete libertarianism in America. Look like you won this battle, congrats.

          1. Well thanks much! However, being the Mostly Modest SQRLSY One that I am, I must admit that I stole the poetry from “Hairy Pot-Head and the Bowl of Smoke and Fire”… Or was I smoking that bowl when the poetry came to me, from the Beyond the Beyond? I can’t recall any more, sorry! In any case, I can NOT take credit!

            1. He didn’t get it, lol

    2. I wonder why we haven’t had a deep dive on this topic by senior reason writers? This seems to be a pretty big deal, and it is exquisitely specific to libertarians.

      1. Same reason they ignore Michael Malice’s new book, the anarchists handbook, which contains a ton of libertarianism ideas.

  5. I remember that post-9/11, I started buying French wines because the prices went way down.

  6. So jets, wine, and cheese are Biden’s top priorities?

    Maybe OBL was right about the Dems being the party of the rich.

    1. Yup. Another example of OpenBordersLiberal-tarian’s First Law.

      Democrats typically campaign on a leftist economic message — “drink billionaire tears,” “make the rich pay their fair share,” and so on. But that’s only to trick poor voters into supporting them. Once in power Democrats consistently govern in a way that demonstrates they know who their real base is. Namely Silicon Valley, Wall Street, multimillionaire athletes and entertainers, and billionaires.

      Related: The 10 richest Americans have gained a combined $143,000,000,000 this year. IOW their support for Biden is already paying off.


      1. But at least they’ve raised the national minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, right?

        1. Oh darn it! Even with Democrats in control of the White House and Congress, they just haven’t gotten that done yet. Probably because of Republican obstructionism.

          I guess poor voters will have to turn out for Democrats in the 2022 midterms as well. See, once they have a much larger Congressional majority, THEN they’ll raise the minimum wage. And pass Medicare for All. 😉

          1. you are a national treasure, sir

  7. Meanwhile, the administration cannot seem to address the fact that the border to Canada is still basically closed, while the southern border is wide open. There seems to be a disconnect in Biden’s brain wiring. But hey you elected him.

  8. …..because I choose all the best people and make the best deals”. “The best!”

  9. So… No more long game to actually remove the raft of “soft tariffs” and “indirect subsidies” that block much of US agricultural output from the EU? Just “meh, lets go back to the status quo ante, where french farmers are completely protected from US competition”?

    I get that Reason likes to parrot “no tariffs” as a free trade bulwark in the era of Trump… But the EU is pretty damned protectionist, and the US market has been much more open than the EU market.

    Woulda been nice to get something in return for the pain….

    An end to GMO blocks?
    Bilateral cessation of farming subsidies?
    Unfettered access for US wineries?
    How about direct sales from US and EU processed food companies?


    Just a return to subsidies and prohibitions on US goods ….

    1. In the deep hatred of Trump, they don’t and won’t do anything that is good for America, simply because Trump.

  10. I’ve been writing about the streaming revolution undermining the news media for a long time, where consumers are simply abandoning the cable news media, especially. Recent events suggest we may be hitting a tipping point.

    Exhibit 1: Joe Rogan’s recent comments responding to a CNN news anchor complaining that stupid consumers are abandoning his news show–and YouTube channels are getting more viewers than his show. Brian Stelter (on CNN) has lost more than 57% of his viewers since January. Rogan has an explanation for that:

    “There’s more people on YouTube right now that get more views than this show. This is because the market has spoken, and your show’s fucking terrible. Well, Brian Stelter’s show keeps slipping and slipping and slipping in the ratings . . . .

    Brian Stelter talking to the press secretary saying “What are we doing wrong? What are we doing wrong?” Like, hey, motherfucker,. you’re supposed to be a journalist! . . . . They’re obviously being told a certain amount of what to do.”

    —-Joe Rogan, Thursday June 17, 2021

    Exhibit 2: Nicole Wallace, on MSNBC, has lost 80% of her audience among 25-54 year olds. She scored an audience of 147,000 viewers watching her show in May, which is fewer viewers than a fourth tier YouTube channel making content from a smartphone in someone’s dorm room.

    Exhibit 3: A lot of us used to watch Greg Gutfield’s Red Eye back when Gillespie, Kerry Howley, KMW, and others would regularly appear on the show. (Kennedy appears to be a regular guest now). Well, Gutfield has basically relaunched that show as Gutfield!, but instead of running it at one o’clock in the morning, they’re running it in direct competition with the major networks’ late night talk shows.

    How’s it doing in the ratings?

    “In Nielsen’s all-important Live+3 measurement, “Gutfeld!” averaged 1.76 million viewers from its April 5 launch through June 3, outdrawing ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” CBS’ “Late Late Show with James Corden,” TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” in the process.


    Gutfield is beating the competition without interviewing any Hollywood celebrities! Those left wing, woke-ass late night talk shows are alienating their audiences with their wokeness, and Gutfield is cleaning their clocks by catering to viewers who can’t stomach what they’re being force-fed elsewhere by the rest of the media.

    As the streaming revolution continues, CNN’s, MSNBC’s, and the broadcast networks’ left slanted news will become increasingly unsustainable in the marketplace. They’re only sustaining themselves now on the basis of fees they collect from cable subscribers–regardless of whether customers actually watch CNN, MSNBC, or the network news channels they’re paying for. If you haven’t made the jump to streaming yet, do so already, and do what you can to get your friends, old folks, and other family to do likewise. Cable news is imploding, and you can help accelerate that trend by cutting the cable already.

    1. Great! So we can stop hearing conservatives complaint about the bias of “the media” and finally acknowledge that there are plenty of conservative-friendly news and political commentary outlets.

      You write about the streaming revolution as if it isn’t at least ten – twenty years old by now.

      1. Name some conservative media sites, and I’ll name others that are effectively DNC party organs or woke propaganda outlets, and we’ll see who’s list is longer.
        I’ll bet mine is fifty to one times bigger.

    2. I liked Redeye despite Gutfeld(the halftime guy was funny). That guy is fucking insufferable! Nothing worse than a smug asshole who thinks he’s the funniest guy on the planet who has never said anything funny in his life.

      Just because their are a few million senile rednecks who are too lazy to change the channel after crazy bigot Hannity or Ingram is over doesn’t mean shit. Rohan is right that more people see stuff online these days.

  11. From Baylin’s own cite:
    The agreement would lift for five years tariffs that have been authorized by the World Trade Organization and had been temporarily suspended in March.

    Reason gaslights us in the article, and then Chipper/chemleft gaslight us in the comments.

    1. Do you like the show Schitt’s Creek?
      I’m curious because you’re Canadian. However you don’t like hockey, have no sense of humor, and are a fascist?

      Do you even get tv in Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, or whatever shithole you call home?

      1. Go away you creepy little Jew-hating bigot. Don’t you and your pudgy wokester friends have a Mormon to stone or something?

        1. I see you’re still lying about me.

          I’m proud that a homophobic fascist bigot like you would feel the need to lie to try and discredit me.

          So you don’t like Schitt’s Creek? Are you ashamed of being a Canadian or something?

          1. I don’t even know what Schitt’s Creek is, Herr Streicher. Some sort of TV show I’m guessing. Do they hate Jews Israelis in it?

            1. It’s a Canadian television program that’s popular in America.

              Keep lying. If your fascist god exists(he doesn’t) he knows what a hateful bigot and terrible person you are.

            2. It’s a slow sitcom.

      2. I like Letterkenny and Trailer Park Boys.

        1. TPB is hilarious

          1. You should check out GFY

    1. Well, fucked up the tag, give me a minute to find the ‘edit’ button and I’ll fix it.

      1. Night is day, day is night, speech control is free speech, speech is violence, lack of speech is violence (“silence is violence”), and… Facebook is Government Almighty!!! Just ask MammaryBahnFuhrer! SHE will tell you ALL about “Facebook is Government Almighty!!!”

        All the lies facilitate making the lies come true… After all, if “Facebook is Government Almighty” already, then why should we NOT subject Facebook to the whims of the votes of the crowds? And then the corner-store grocer is Government Almighty also, and so is my church, and so are my personal decisions on who to marry, what profession to take up, and… And EVERYTHING is ALREADY Government Almighty, so it MUST be treated as such!

  12. Tariffs on foreign produced foods help keep American agriculture afloat. They also create problems for our export of the same products. The difference is that over seas countries citizens will frequently buy American because they believe it to be a less contaminated product. Trump did put America back to work, and we prospered until the corona virus took over and the governors of blue states killed the economies of those states and others.

    1. Tariffs on foreign produced foods help keep American agriculture afloat.

      Very good point. We should ban all imports to keep American businesses afloat. Self sufficiency is the road to prosperity! Just like North Korea!

      1. I blame it all on robotic foreigners! We need to start taking a close look at all those “Made in America” factory-produced goodies, and start asking, “Was this made by an American robot, or a foreigner robot?” Good jobs for good AMERICAN robots, I say! Democrat robots, republican robots, it doesn’t matter… They’re not allowed to vote, anyway! And if we can’t find enough good AMERICAN robots, then we need to start building everything by hand, using only our hands and our teeth, and wood, rocks, and mud! THAT will bring our jerbs back!

        The greed and hypocrisy of top corporate management has been thoroughly documented, and I’m not trying to apologize for them, for that. But in all fairness, we should understand their perspective. The government does not require many (if any) benefits be paid to robots, nor require safe operating environments (for the robots as opposed to humans). Limited protections for humans is good, but have we gone too far? Corporations are required to pay Social Security, workman’s comp, unemployment, self-esteem therapy, and tons and tons of insurance mandates for the humans. Whether or not I need or want (or object to, on a religious basis) alcohol and drug abuse therapy, organs transplants, sex assignment changes, or space alien abduction therapy, a lot of all this stuff is mandated, in insurance coverage. No opt-outs and price cuts for you, or for me! But not so for the robots! Should it be any surprise that the robots are taking our jobs?

        I am thinking that we should disguise ourselves as robots, and assign ownership of our robotic selves to a trusted friend or family member. Trusted human owner (of myself) can then collect rental fees on me, take a small administrative fee, and kick the rest back to me! Problem solved! Now I can be allowed to compete with the robots, if I desire to bypass all the mandates!

    2. One of the reasons there is so much resistance against agricultural imports from the US in the EU is the notion among consumers that US products are contaminated by chemicals, hormones, or GMO. It is true, EU consumers are not libertarians but those tariffs reflect the sentiment of a vast majority of voters.
      Far more scandalous than tariffs for agricultural products from the US are those for products from Africa or Latin America. When they are lifted by trade deals, those must allow the EU to dump heavily subsidized agricultural agricultural products and used cloting on those markets killing all home grown agriculture or textile industries.

  13. Commies at unreason at it again.

    Trump offered the EU free trade at the G7 summit. They refused.

    el presidente is not in charge of anything as America is in the middle of civil war 2.0. unreason has to support team Lefty.

    1. Trump 2024.

      Him and grover cleveland the only presidents to serve two nonconsecutive presidential terms.

      If America makes it out of civil war 2.0 that is.

    2. The inbred, backward redneck from rural shithole Georgia is back!

      How can you put your hard on for Trump above your own country? Are you too uneducated and inbred to have shame?

      1. Aw look the shitstained liberal progtard faggot posted again!

  14. I see reason koch suckers ignored the further blmantifa terrorist protests in Denver. Seems they are too chickenshit to show up.

  15. Joe Biden’s dog is as dead as a fuckin’ door nail.


    Now there’s no one left in Washington that respects him.

    1. History will look on Jill Biden as the most craven power-hungry woman to ever serve as First Lady, because she has no respect for her husband or the office of the presidency.

      She disregarded his obvious mental decline and helped hide it from the voters, to achieve her personal desires, without concern for him, without respect for the office, without respect for America.

      May she grow onions in places she cannot reach.

    2. Tellingly petty on your part. It’s not about good government for you, it’s about hating on progressives.

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