The European Union's import duties on American products have significantly reduced the trade volume of these products.

The American exporters could have responded to the levies by lowering their sales prices, but did not, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Statistics Netherlands examined the impact of the 25 percentage point additional levies imposed by the EU in June 2018 on 182 American products, including whiskey, fruit juices, steel and aluminum.

Dutch companies paid 44.5 million euros more for these products between July 2018 and December 2019, which means that they paid in full for the additional levy.

As a result, American drinks and other products became more expensive for consumers in Europe, with the result that their imports fell gradually.

Since the levies came into effect, their imports have fallen by about a third in a year and a half.

Importers also appear to have pre-sorted the levies in the period that they were already coming.

In the spring of 2018, they imported about 20 percent more of the products examined, so at the lower rates applicable at the time.

Statistics Netherlands states that the mechanism also works the other way.

If the US increases import duties, European exporters will not compensate in their prices either.

Subsequently, the American importers and as a result the American consumer pay for the higher tariffs and trade collapses.

In recent years there have been many reciprocal tariff increases between the EU and the US due to trade tensions.

The investigated additional levy for 2018 was excessive at 25 percent.