in Budapest on Wednesday
Hungarian Tariffs on $180 Million Annually of U.S.
BUDAPEST - Yesterday, the United States and Hungary signed an agreement in Budapest in which Hungary agreed to reduce or suspend its tariffs on $180 million worth of key U.S. agricultural and industrial exports annually, starting in April 2002.
In Washington, U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick praised the agreement, noting that its implementation would "establish a more level playing field for U.S. exports to Hungary.""As a result of this agreement, U.S. exports will be more competitive in the Hungarian market, generating new market opportunities for American exporters, added Zoellick. "The United States is committed to opening markets around the world for American farmers and American industry. I'm pleased that we were able to work with Hungary to lower tariffs on American products."
On the industrial side, the U.S. export products covered include steam and gas turbines, large engine autos and auto and tractor parts, automatic data processing machines, office machine parts, beauty products, various chemicals, plastics, medical instruments and equipment, laser disks, and telephone equipment. On the agricultural side, the U.S. export products include almonds and pecans, grapefruit, and bovine semen. The Hungarian government has also made a substantial increase to its 2002 tariff rate quota for baby chicks.
Hungary has for many years maintained high tariffs on some key U.S. exports, much higher than the tariff rates applied to Hungarian imports from the European Union. European exporters already enjoy almost total duty-free access to the Hungarian market, prior to Hungary's formal accession to the European Union.
In light of Hungary's commitments, the United States intends to continue its support for Hungary's participation in the U.S. trade preference program, known as the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).