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Swiss Consider Scrapping Import Tariffs on Industrial Goods

Machinery mills the base plate of a Grand Seiko brand watch manufactured by Seiko Watch Corp. at the Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc. factory in Shizukuishi Town, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Grand Seiko watches are known for their accuracy and have simpler dials and a more classic style than regular Seikos. Forty years after nearly wiping out the Swiss watch industry with cheap quartz models, Japanese brands like Seiko and Citizen are eyeing the high end of timekeeping that’s been the Alpine country’s turf.

(bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss government is proposing to eliminate import tariffs on industrial goods, in a bid to combat the country’s famously high consumer prices.

Abolishing such fees would lower the administrative burden for domestic companies and help them goods from abroad at a lower cost, the government in Bern said. It would also benefit consumers, as tariffs are levied on items such as cars, bicycles, household appliances and clothing.

Switzerland’s move to lower industrial tariffs stands in contrast to a rise in protectionism globally. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on Chinese tens of billions of dollars in products, and Beijing has retaliated.

After the various interested parties have a chance to comment on the proposal, it will then be voted on by the Swiss parliament. The tariffs would be abolished as of January 2022, the government said in a statement on Friday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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