Wine Spectator On The Tariff Truce Between The U.S. And E.U.March 8, 2021
The U.S. government has paused the tariffs on most French, Spanish and German wines, bringing economic relief to European winemakers, American merchants and wine consumers, at least for four months. The suspension, announced by the Office of the United States Trade Representative on Friday, is intended to ratchet down tensions as the U.S. and European Union negotiate a solution to a long fight over government aid to airplane manufacturers.
“The suspension will cover all tariffs both on aircraft as well as on non-aircraft products, and will become effective as soon as the internal procedures on both sides are completed,” said Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, in a statement. “This will allow the E.U. and the U.S. to ease the burden on their industries and workers and focus efforts toward resolving these long running disputes at the WTO.”
“This is absolutely thrilling news,” said Ben Aneff, president of the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance (USWTA) and managing partner at Tribeca Wine Merchants. “Suspending these tariffs will bring tremendous relief to millions of small businesses around the country.”
While the battle has raged, European wine exports to the U.S. have fallen dramatically. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, imports of French wine from January to June of 2020 were down more than 50% compared to the same period last year. Spanish wine imports were down 60%.
But the tariffs have also meant economic pain for American importers and retailers, at a time when the pandemic has made business hard enough. “These tariffs have done significantly more damage to U.S. small businesses than their targets overseas,” said Aneff. Wine Spectator has the full story.—Mitch FrankSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.