Tariffs on imported European wine will stay at 25 percent, the U.S. Trade Representative announced on July 12. The tariff on wine from Spain, France, Germany and the U.K. was imposed in October as part of a U.S. retaliation against the European Union for subsidies it gives to Airbus.
In its latest review, the trade representative had the choice of keeping the tariff at 25 percent, increasing it to 100 percent or eliminating it completely.
[content-1] “[U.S. World Trade Alliance], along with U.S. wine businesses across the country, is devastated by the USTR’s decision,” U.S. Wine Trade Alliance President Ben Aneff said in a press release. “Wine tariffs have absolutely no place in a dispute between Europe and the United States over aircraft subsidies.”
The U.S. Wine Trade Alliance works on behalf of importers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and producers who share the common goal of achieving a zero-tariff policy on wine imported to the United States.
Along with its associated wine businesses, the USWTA sent over 27,000 comments to the USTR and over 42,700 letters to Congress asking them to scrap the tariffs.
[content-2] “Ambassador Lighthizer’s decision to continue to apply illogical and optional tariffs on the food and beverage industry is simply tone deaf and cruel,” said Harry Root, president of Grassroots Wine in Charleston.
Root has been an active participant in the dispute, spending time in Washington D.C. lobbying against the tariffs. The decision to uphold the 25 percent tariff will be another blow for an industry reeling from the pandemic, he said.
“The F and B industry is struggling for every nickel of revenue it can muster, this decision is reckless and irresponsible and will only exacerbate the dire financial issues facing our industry.”
The USWTA remains determined to expose the detriments of the tariffs, Aneff said in the release.
“USWTA will continue to tell the story of the harm these tariffs cause, and to press Congress and the administration to eliminate the tariff.”