As you may know by now, the United States government, has already implemented tariffs of 25% on the majority of wines from France, Spain, and Germany that are imported into the US. All American importers, including us, are forced to pay these tariffs. Retail prices for these wines will go up. The tariffs will harm American consumers and every American wine importer and distributor.
Now, in further retaliation for EU subsidies to Airbus, and to France’s 3% Digital Services Tax, the U.S. government has proposed additional new tariffs of “up to” 100% on all wines from the EU, including those not originally covered by the previous tariffs. This is an existential threat to hundreds of American import, wholesale and retail businesses across the country. If implemented, American companies will fail, American jobs will go away, and American consumers will be stuck with far less choice than ever before, and face skyrocketing prices for the wines that are brought in under these tariffs, though in reality, it’s unreasonable to think that any importer would actually import any wine when being required to pay a 100% tariff.
These tariffs will also apply to olive oil, cheeses, cookware and many other consumer products completely unrelated to the aircraft or digital service industries. The American wine industry is simply a pawn in this whole saga. These are disputes involving huge multi-national corporations. The industry that will be destroyed in the collateral damage to such disputes is mostly made up of small American companies.
Also, if you think this will be good for American wineries, think again. You might be interested in reading the comments from a couple of them:
From the Tablas Creek blog:
From Jason Lett of Oregon’s Eyrie Vineyards:
From Jon Bonne, wine writer:
Finally, it should not be lost on anyone that should these new tariffs be implemented, even if they aren’t 100%, but “only” 75%, or 50%, or 25%, the harm to our industry and those working in it, and to American consumers, will be substantial. 100% tariffs will be a fatal blow; continued tariffs of 25% or greater will be death by a thousand cuts.
If this is something you are concerned about too, the time to speak up is now. There are two public comment periods one is open through January 7, 2020 (comment here) and the other through January 13, 2020 (comment here). We would be grateful if you could please take the time to let your Congressperson, Senator, and the office of the US Trade Representative know. Here is an easy link to follow to do all three:
The above link has further links to very easily communicate to your Congressperson and Senator, and at the very bottom of that page there is a link you can use to comment directly to the Office of the US Trade Representative. An example of such a letter is also written on that page, which you can copy and paste, or you can write your own thoughts.
On behalf of our staff and their families, and all members of the wine community around the country, we thank you for taking the time to join us in fighting these destructive tariffs.