UDINE. The effect is mostly psychological, but certainly important. The peace on duties between the United States and the European Union, after the frictions of the Trump era, can give a boost to Made in Friuli. Because it is true that so far only a few regional products had fallen into the trap of customs taxes, but in any case this possibility is now averted.
There are no dangers on the horizon, just to be clear, neither for wine, which in any case already discounts some health taxes in various states of the USA, nor for San Daniele raw ham, cured meats, furniture and other goods overseas. are all the rage. Free from duties, from today, also the amaro (the best known the Nonino brand) which from October 2019 had an increase of 25%, like many other types of liqueurs. Only one node remains, the one represented by steel and metals, for which a specific table will open to eliminate the additional taxation.
How much is the export to the USA worth?
According to the elaborations of the Studies Office of Confindustria Udine on Istat data, despite the unprecedented crisis due to the pandemic which led to a significant drop in the sales of ships and boats, the first item of regional exports to the USA (-12.8%, from 1,613 to 1,407 million euros), the United States confirmed its second trade partner in 2020 as well. Overall, last year sales to the United States, compared to 2019, fell by 8%, from 2,524 to 2,322 million euros. Without the ships and boats sector, sales remained stable (+ 0.4%, from 911 to 915 million euros). In the first quarter of 2021, following the temporary zeroing in the accounting of ship and boat sales, regional exports decreased by 62.9%.
Without this sector, on the other hand, they grew by + 16.2%, from 204 to 237 million euros, reaching above the value of the first three months of 2019 (229 million euros). Exports of metal products (+ 12.1%) and furniture (+ 104.3%) increased, while those of machinery dropped (-19.9%). In the Province of Udine, exports to the North American country fell by -5.4% in 2020 and by 8.1% in the first quarter of 2021. The USA in 2020 was the second partner after Germany.
An important step, according to the president of Confindustria Udine Anna Mareschi Danieli. «Our exports to the USA are quite small, 900 million euros a year, without shipbuilding, it’s not that high. With the suspension of duties we will certainly not go for the worse, now there will be a whole series of products such as design, fashion, cosmetics, food and drinks that will no longer have the surcharge. For aluminum and steel, duties remain, it was an issue that could not be resolved in an afternoon, but there is a work table that will have to bring results.
Peace with the US is hopefully also a first step towards new synergies to counter the hegemony of countries that are not based on market practices. Europe could be strengthened, the two sides of the Atlantic will be closer. The high quality products of made in Italy and made in Friuli would not have been affected by the duties anyway because they are bought the same even if they cost more. Instead, consumer goods could be affected ». The Deputy Vice President of Confindustria Udine Cristian Vida explains that «The quality of the exported products has also withstood the impact of duties. Biden’s new course is exceptional, there is a newfound common vision and there will be more focus on China. Now there is a strong possibility of increasing our exports ».
If on the one hand the Friulian and Julian winemakers will breathe a good sigh of relief, because they will not have to stay on their toes every six months to find out if their products will be sold at higher prices due to duties, on the other they will have to face the renewed competition of French cousins. Yes, because if the cost of a good bottle of Jermann, Kante, Gigante or Felluga remains unchanged, it will not be so for the Chateaux or Chablis from beyond the Alps, which will be relieved of the additional 25% taxes introduced by the former tenant of the Trump White House and therefore can be more competitive, at the restaurant or in the wine shop. Instead, the Friulian distillers are celebrating without ifs and buts, who had been hit in the last round of duties, in October 2019. In fact, in the black-list of products that saw a customs tariff of 25% applied there were also liqueurs, a category in which Amaro Nonino is fully included, the only good made in Friuli that has paid the price of the tug-of-war. trade between the USA and Europe.
San Daniele ham
San Daniele raw ham is one of the best known Friulian products in the United States. The Consortium that brings together the main entrepreneurs in the sector has been present overseas for years and has gradually increased its market share. So much so that today, according to the latest data provided by the Consortium, exports to the USA account for 17% of the total, the second largest market after France, with about 800 thousand kilograms, that is to say about 100 thousand hams, for a total turnover that reaches 11.3 million euros, which is exactly one quarter of the value of food exports to the States. The commercial peace between the US and the EU, however, will change little for the Consortium, given that the San Daniele had always been spared from the restrictions desired by former President Donald Trump. In 2019, before the Covid pandemic, the last series of duties of 25%, which affected Parmigiano Reggiano, liqueurs and spirits, but not Friulian raw.
Design chairs and furniture
The Friulian furniture design is worth 109 million euros in the US, a little down compared to the 2019 figure (124 million), but in fact 2020 was heavily influenced by Covid, on both sides of the Atlantic. However, an important figure, that of sales in the United States, which concerns both the Brugnera district and the Manzanese chair triangle. The tariffs have not hit the sector, now it will be a question of setting the restart to recover pre-pandemic revenues. An opportunity to relaunch in style could be the autumn edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan, which, as far as the Northeast is concerned, has over 300 exhibitors in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto alone, equal to one fifth of the Italian companies present (of the over 2,350 who participate in the event, about 800 are foreign). In short, the conquest of the United States could start again from the Salone.
The export of ships and boats, in 2020 alone, was over 1.4 billion euros, a figure that contributes by more than half to the overall export of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the United States, which is equal to 2.3 billion euros. The main client of Fincantieri, in fact, the Carnival group, is American and every delivery of a cruise ship made in Monfalcone, is worth a check with many zeros. Dozens of companies specialized in furnishings, furniture and plant engineering that operate in the Pordenone area and in the area of the Triangle of the chair contribute to the realization of the white ships, the real flagship of our manufacture. So every time we talk about the export of a ship we have to consider the related activities, for hundreds of millions of euros, which fall within the territory of the region. Fincantieri, as known, has two other maxi ships ready to be delivered within a few months and has an order book that reaches 2027.
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