Current United States President and vineyard owner Donald J. Trump is set to impose hefty tariffs on roughly $7.5 billion worth of European agricultural and industrial products, including French, Italian, and German wines.
This follows the World Trade Organization’s recent favorable ruling to the U.S. in a 15-year dispute over aircraft corporation Airbus’ illegal subsidies. The Trump administration plans to impose 10% tariffs on European aircrafts, but products such as food and drink will be subject to tariffs up to 25%. Pending final approval by The World Trade Organization, these changes could take place as soon as Oct. 18.
In addition to wine, the tariff will also affect items such as leather handbags, Irish and Scotch whiskey, and Italian cheeses. Despite the fact that this is an aviation dispute, the disproportionate focus on EU’s wine and spirits has leaders looking for ways to deescalate further trade tensions.
Following questions about potential retaliation by the EU, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade released a statement that said, ”The mutual imposition of countermeasures would only inflict damage on businesses and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, and harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”
President Trump has zeroed in on French wines in the past. During the signing of a safe third country agreement with Guatemala in July of this year, the president, in response to a question about retaliation against France’s move to tax U.S. tech companies with locations in France said, “Don’t do it, because if you do it, I’m going to tax your wine—tariff, or tax—call it whatever you want. So, yeah, we’re working on that right now.”
“I’ve always liked American wines better than French wines — even though I don’t drink wine,” he continued. “I just like the way they look, okay?”
Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s son, owns a winery in Virginia.
Laura Jaye Cramer is a freelance writer based in California and has written for SF Weekly, GOOD, and PAPER Magazine. Read more Laura Jaye Cramer on Sprudge Wine.