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IBEC Issues Warning On EU-US Trade War

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

13 September 2002


The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) has warned that the trade war currently raging between the United States and the European Union could have a devastating effect on the Republic's economy, in particular on the electronics industry.

A full draft list of US products to be targeted by EU sanctions was presented to the 133 Committee (a group of trade representatives from EU member states who meet once a week to discuss trade issues) by the European Commission earlier this week, and is expected to be formally released today. Member states, industry bodies, and interested parties will then have until November 12 to comment on the various US products targeted by the retaliatory sanctions, and it is expected that Irish industry will lobby hard for a reduction in the scope of the list.

Ireland is likely to suffer more than many EU member states when the sanctions on US products are imposed due to the large number of American multinationals located there, although the extent of the impact is, as yet, unknown.

'We are not able to quantify the possible damage until we see the list, but it is very worrying,' Cathal Lynch, IBEC's assistant director for European Affairs told the Irish Independent on Wednesday.

'We are just beginning to sit down and look at what the impact might be. The fear is that the sanctions will particularly hit electronics products, on which Ireland depends so heavily.'


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