US Criticizes Sofia for Imposing Trade Barriers

US - The US government accused 61 countries including Bulgaria and groups of nations of significant trade barriers that harm US manufacturers and farmers.

The government's 672-page report on trade barriers is designed to guide US negotiators over the next year in their efforts to attack barriers seen as doing the most damage to American companies.

The report reads that Bulgaria provides the EU with preferential tariff rates and reciprocal duty elimination on numerous agricultural products, as well as on wine. These preferences are hurting US agricultural exporters who face higher MFN rates.

In particular, the high import tariffs favor Bulgaria's inefficient domestic chicken and pig meat industries. Import tariffs on U.S. chicken are 68%, with frozen cut parts subject to a 74% tariff.

The US government is currently reviewing Bulgaria's continued eligibility for the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program in view of the preferential treatment it affords to the EU.

The US has urged the Bulgarian government to lower MFN tariffs on a range of items to reduce the tariff differential and its negative effect on US commerce. In general, customs regulations and policies are reported to be cumbersome, arbitrary and inconsistent.

Source: Sofia News Agency
calendar icon 1 April 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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