US wine sellers have warned about the potential impact of President Donald Trump’s decision to raise the tariff to 100% on European wine imports.
According to US wine sellers, their businesses will not survive if President Trump pushes through with the proposed 100% European wine tariff. The proposed tax was announced by the administration in retaliation to European subsidies for Airbus.
According to the wine industry, raising the tariffs on top of the previous increase will result to job losses and price increases in the US. Benjamin Aneff, managing partner of Tribeca Wine Merchants, said: “It is without hyperbole that I tell you that the proposed tariffs would be the greatest threat to the wine and spirits industry since Prohibition, in 1919.”
Annually, the US imports around $5 billion in wine from Europe but since October, the industry has been trying to adjust to the 25% tax on European wines, which the US imposed after winning approval from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to retaliate in the dispute overs subsidies to aircraft maker Airbus.
The National Association of Wine Retailers says that prices would more than double and some bottles will become too expensive to import. Thousands of people have expressed their opposition to the tariff by sending written comments to the US Trade Representative, which handles the decision and is accepting submissions until January 13.
Executives from New York-based importer Field Bland Solutions said: “These tariffs are intended to be punitive measures against European countries, but instead, they are having a calamitous impact on American small businesses, American workers, and American consumers.”
Robert Tobiassen, president of the National Association of Beverage Importers, argued: “It’s not just a question of simply raising prices. It’s a question of what is the impact on jobs, what is the impact on the US marketplace.”
He added: “Why is wine having to pay for a dispute on civil aircraft?”