Restaurants rely on global, interconnected supply chains to provide meals to millions of customers daily. For nearly two years, tariffs levied on European Union and United Kingdom food and beverage products — as part of an international trade dispute — have been a tax passed down to every restaurant in this country where menus rely on these products. New agreements between the U.S. and EU and U.S. and UK suspend the tariffs for five years, beginning in July 2021.
“The resolution of these disputes is welcome news to our industry,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “For two years, the Association pressed for the removal of these tariffs, which were punishing American restaurants and consumers, not the governments or industries involved in the dispute. Following the challenges of the pandemic, these tariffs would only have served to cause deeper harm and threaten industry recovery.”
While the tariffs were in place, they created volatility and uncertainty for an industry that operates on thin profit margins and deals in real-time with fluctuations in supply prices. Restaurants had been challenged to find new suppliers who could meet their needs without significant time delays or cost differences. Many could not afford the changes that having to alter their supply chain required. These challenges were heightened by the pandemic and its lingering impact on the supply chain. As costs for domestic goods rise, the added costs for these needed international goods could have threatened restaurants still on the brink of collapse after 15 months of pandemic losses.
For more information about the Association’s advocacy, go to RestaurantsAct.com.