USA TRADE GROUPS: TRUMP’S EU WINE TARIFFS BENEFITED CHINA
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Source: Library of Congress/Unsplash
Days ahead of Trump administration’s decision on whether to slap 100% tariffs on European wines and produce, two of USA’s wine industry groups said punitive tariffs did not benefit the US wine trade, but resulted in a direct transfer of USA-European wine sales to China and other markets.
“Due to ill-advised tariffs on wine, we are witnessing the direct transfer of the American-European wine trade to China and other markets and the only people getting hurt are American business owners and consumers," The US Wine Trade Alliance (USWTA) and the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) said in a statement.
The two organisations cited figures from Global Trade Atlas to say that the loss of wine sales to USA as a result of the tariffs has benefited China and other markets.
"While case sales of wine from France to the US plummeted by 48% during the first month of 25% tariffs, exports from France to China grew by 35%," said Harry Root, head of USWTA.
"China's purchases of French wines were 118% higher than the US in November," he added.
It was said that thousands of individual wineries are opposed to these tariffs. It said the downstream effects of profit loss for distributors, retailers, and restaurants—as well as subsequent business closures–far outweigh any possible short-term increase in sales of domestic wines.
The statement also said wine tariffs are inefficient, ineffective, and do disproportionate harm to American businesses. It called on the administration to immediately cease the tariffs on wine.
The Trump administration placed a 25% tariff on some European wines last October as a revenge on EU’s subsidies to aeroplane manufacturer Airbus.
Last December, President Trump again threatened to slap 100% tariffs on some European wines and produce in retaliation to the French government’s decision in July to impose a digital services tax affecting big US tech companies like Google and Facebook.
The Trump administration will decide by 17 February whether to levy the stringent 100% tariffs.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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