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Italy asks EU to suspend raw material import tariffs

22 February 2010, 16:32 CET
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(ROME) - Italy asked the European Commission to suspend import tariffs on raw materials such as iron, silk and leather, an Italian trade minister said in a report published Monday.

"Italy is a country that for the most part transforms raw materials, so a suspension of the tariffs would immediately cut costs for companies and, further down the chain, prices for consumers," deputy minister for international trade Adolfo Urso was quoted as saying in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

Urso made the request on Sunday after his first meeting with the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht.

Italy wants tariffs suspended on raw materials necessary for steel production such as iron, steel, aluminium and carbon electrodes, as well as wood, leather and silk.

Urso said similar measures "have been already adopted by the EU's biggest competitor: the United States have recently drawn up a list of raw materials that are strategically relevant and have put in place policies to guarantee their supply."

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