Proposed Tariffs Will Harm the Whole Wine Industry

pouring wine down the drainFor the wine industry, this is not the season to be jolly.

As has been widely reported, the Trump “administration” has proposed 100% tariffs on a wide range of food and beverage products from Europe, including all wine, in retaliation for EU subsidies of Airbus and increased taxes on digital services in France. This will put many wine importers out of business and remove whole wine categories from the shelves of American wine shops.

“If enacted, these tariffs could have the effect of essentially crippling the importation and sale of European wine in the U.S.,” says Michael Skurnik of the NY-based import and distribution company, Skurnik Wines. “This would mean a devastating loss of revenues, jobs, and taxes to many sectors of the US economy.”

I don’t know if U.S. wineries are celebrating this news; it means less competition for them at a time when sales are flat or trending downward. But this is not going to benefit anyone in the long run.

The wine industry thrives on diversity and variation. Variations related to geographical differences distinguish wine from other alcoholic beverages; these variations are what make wine interesting. And given wines’ history, European wines occupy a special place in the canon. Loosing access to French or Italian wines would be like the world of literature loosing access to Shakespeare.

When these tariffs are enacted wine will have become a lot less interesting. No one benefits from this.

The tariffs have not been enacted yet and there is still time to head them off.

To the Senate:
https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/697

To your Representative:
https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/698

Most importantly to the US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USTR-2019-0003-2518

 

 

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