I want to deal with some specific claims in this BrexitCentral article by Kevin Dowd from Sep 2017, but I also wanted to make a more general point, so I decided to make a general thread and wrap it around a standalone thread on the article.
Otherwise, carry on reading, here where I make a more general point, and then and I'll link back to the BrexitCentral rebuttal again it at the bottom.
Bar a few minor exceptions, all countries have tariffs on imports:
Pointing to tariffs to criticise the EU and saying we should be like Singapore is as ridiculous as criticising the UK because we have excise duty, or saying we should be like Monaco with no income tax.
In Aug 2017 Kevin Dowd published a report for the IEA called "A Trade Policy for Brexit Britain". It included some inaccurate commentary about EU tariffs. The BrexitCentral article sought to defend his claims, stating that his source was "leading authority" Dan Lewis.
Unfortunately all he demonstrated was that his chosen expert has no more understanding of the subject that he has. Dowd points to another BrexitCentral article from Lewis published in November 2016 and repeats Lewis's fundamentally flawed analysis.
The first thing he picks on is a 17.6% tariff on coconut water, enacted from 1 July 2016. Unfortunately Dan demonstrates here that he has little understanding of the subject he is proclaimed as being an expert in.
Later that evening I was made aware of Chloe's claim by @TampS44 posting a thread that investigated the source of the 17% food price reduction claim. I was flattered to get a mention. Here's the thread.
1. JRM's claim about a 10-year FTA negotiation window.
2. The price of steak (£22.06/kg)
JRM says "If you are in negotiation for a free trade agreement, you can maintain your existing standards for 10-years under WTO rules. So we have 10 years from the point at which we leave the EU to negotiate a FTA which would mean we could carry on with our zero tariffs."
IANAL but I think JRM is labouring under a misapprehension
It seems he's referring to this "understanding" in an Ad Art to GATT Article XXIV, para 5.
It says that the "reasonable length of time" from Article XXIV should not normally exceed 10 yrs.
You may have seen my thread about Tim Martin's comments about duty on rice as reported in The Independent. I ignored the mention of coffee, because as you I've done that to death, but lets talk about wine.
Anyway Tim says that the UK should adopt the Free Trade policies of New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. Well Singapore is a whole 'nother discussion, it's not comparable model for the UK. But let's talk about New Zealand, Australia, and wine and free trade.
Hi @RemainiacsCast I need to take issue with the bit at the very end of you most recent podcast with @DavidLammy. You said that the UK turned it's back on the Commonwealth when it joined the EEC, an then David spoke of the EU impoverishing Caribbean banana growers.
In the original Treaty of Rome (1957) the colonies of the founding nations were granted associated membership of the EEC with tariff, free quota free access EU markets, in a non-reciprocal manner. This is under Part 4 of the Treaty of Rome.
In Article 133, paragraph 1 refers to the duty free access to member states' markets and paragraph 3 says that the associated territories will protect sensitive areas from market liberalisation. In other words they are free to impose thief own tariffs in those market sectors.
Dear Lord Ridley (@mattwridley) during the Customs Union amendment debate on 18-04-2018 you stated a number of tariffs applied to African countries, when in fact the vast majority are exempt all tariffs. You dispute this, but what about the numbers?
20% on tomatoes?
To which countries (you specified African, Caribbean and Asian but I'd settle for any), does a 20% tariff on the importation of tomatoes into the EU apply?
Most African countries are on zero tariffs for everything bar guns and ammunition. The few remaining are on General Scheme of Preferences (GSP), like Nigeria, or EU Association Agreement, and two cases of no reduction.
Countries on the UN's Least Developed Countries (LDC) list automatically qualify for Everything But Arms (EBA) and are therefore on zero duties and quotas for everything bar weapons and ammunition. This map shows the LDC countries in blue.
Most of the remaining sub-Saharan countries have Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU, either bilaterally or though a regional trade groups. This map shows you that relationship for each country.
In the 1970s/1980s milk overproduction in the EEC led to infamous butter mountains etc. So in 1984 the EU introduced milk production quotas to limit production. This continued until 2015 when milk quotas were scrapped.
So here's part of it. It talks of African nations importing basic foodstuffs that they could grow themselves. This is true, they do and they need to develop their own agriculture in these areas. But where do they import from? I'll show you.
I chose three African countries, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, (but I could look at another one if you nominate a country) and I looked at the cereal imports and where the come from for 2016 ( most recent). You get similar results if you drill down to maize, wheat and rice.
You will probably see a lot of ZEROs. Mostly for poor countries.
For example There are 47 countries which pay no tariffs on anything at all except arms and ammunition. These countries are on the UN's Least Developed Countries list and that means they're automatically on the EU's Everything but Arms zero tariff schedule. See map.
So this is taking back control of a power we'll already have by the end of the Transition Period.
I don't understand this at all. APD is a UK tax on domestic flights. The money goes to HMRC. It's nothing to do with the EU. A few other countries have a similar tax, but ours is the highest in Europe. Some other countries had it then abolished it.
Nadine, I think it's very important that politicians with large twitter followings impart accurate information and do not mislead their followers.. So lets examine you what you said:
So let's look at the tariff for ROASTED coffee imported from poor countries.
Let's look at the very poorest countries. The UN list of 47 poorest countries (Least Developed Nations) are all eligible for EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) schedule, that means zero tariffs on everything but guns. That's all countries on this map. Botswana (green) have opted out.
But let's look specifically at coffee producers in Africa.
The top 10 coffee producing nations in Africa are Ethiopia, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Madagascar, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.