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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
-NIAF Congratulates the Italian American Leader to Head the New Coalition-
(Washington, D.C. – September 12, 2019) – The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) congratulates former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta for his appointment to lead the American Italian Food Coalition (AIFC), a newly formed coalition of companies with the objective to prevent Italian food products from being unfairly targeted by tariffs.
“Former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta’s leadership experience, service in the public sector and pride and passion for his Italian heritage will be an asset to the American Italian Food Coalition. We look forward to working with him and the Coalition,” said NIAF Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison.
Times Leader reported on Tuesday that the coalition of leading Italian food companies, manufacturers and trade associations founded AIFC because of an ongoing trade dispute involving the European aviation manufacturer Airbus. According to the AIFC, the World Trade Organization ruled that Airbus received subsidies from four European Union member states: France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. Although Italy was not party to the complaint, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been targeting Italian products in response.
The AIFC believes Italian-made pasta, coffee, wafers and biscuits should not be on USTR’s retaliatory tariff list as Italy is not a party to the Airbus consortium.
“Tariffs are complex economic policies that should be applied with scalpel-like precision. We’re confident we can work with the Trump administration to accomplish the objectives of the administration without unfairly targeting Italian companies,” Barletta said in a statement.
“We are very pleased that Barletta was selected to lead this consortium of concerned Italian companies during this uncertain time,” said NIAF Chair Gabriel A. Battista. “His dedication and expertise will help Italian companies as they face potential tariffs from the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The Foundation looks forward to working with the American Italian Food Coalition as it is NIAF’s mission to strengthen and empower ties between the U.S. and Italy.”
“I’m a proud Italian American, and Italy has stood side-by-side with the United States for centuries. Italian American communities are part of our own history,” Barletta said. “That’s why I’m leading this coalition, because while I understand the President’s position on tariffs, Italy shouldn’t be punished for the actions of other European countries.”
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit www.niaf.org.