European Union threatens 25% retaliatory tax on US corn

16 Mar 2018 | Tom Houghton, Andy Allan

US corn sales into the EU will be subject to a 25% retaliatory tax if Washington proceeds with a proposed hike to tariffs on European steel and aluminium, the European Commission said Friday.

In a 10-page document detailing potential tariffs published Friday, corn fell into a section designated Part A, which would allow the EU to slap a 25% import duty on US-origin corn once it has notified the WTO.

US corn sales into Europe totalled 707,366 mt between January-December 2017, according to USDA data, with sales worth $117.2 million.

While EU corn imports have raced ahead this year, US corn has only reached 368,556 mt –27% lower than at the same stage last year, while imports from Brazil and the Ukraine have soared.

What is notable is the EU did not, however, threaten to tax the $1.7 billion worth of US soybeans it imports every year from US farmers.

That refusal may indicate how hard it would be for the EU, or other big importing nations such as China, to find alternative sources of soybeans.