Do you want to pay more- lots more-
or perhaps no longer be able to get your favorite wine?

100% Tariffs on EU Wine, Whiskey & more
are being considered & need your input…

As you may have seen in the news, the Trump administration, after imposing a 25% tariff on many French, Spanish, German & English wines in October, is considering a 100%- yes that’s correct- a 100% tariff on virtually all wine & whiskies, (as well as cheeses, olives, olive oils) from the EU.

That means that a wine/whiskey importer buying a bottle for $10 will be taxed an additional $10- the 100% tariff- for that bottle upon arrival in the US! The consequence? Certainly, dramatically higher costs for the importer, your favorite shop, and then you the consumer.

This Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/proposed-tariffs-could-send-some-european-wine-prices-out-of-reach/2019/12/26/82a72810-25c3-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html) article explains how the $14 bottle you purchased before October could easily become $21, and a $28 bottle of wine became $33 after the October assessment would likely reach $51 once the new tariff is imposed.

Who cares if the price of EU wines and spirits dramatically increase? As EU wine options shrink and prices skyrocket, American consumers might gravitate to either American or South American wines. Maybe- But surely small producers, small distributors and small niche shops may be devastated by a 100% tariff being paid by American consumers & not paid by those the administration intended to punish. (Imported wines generate nearly $30 BILLION in revenue for US companies of which 85% stays within our economy!)

You may think this will be good for the US winemakers. Actually, US winemakers don’t want this either. “The short-term impact is likely to be pretty serious and pretty negative,” said Jason Haas, general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard, an excellent producer in Paso Robles, Calif. “All wines rely on the same distribution network. If the prices double on European wines, it will have an immediate negative impact on all those distributors.”” — https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/dining/drinks/trump-wine-tariff-eu.html

We only have until Monday, January 13th to make our voices heard. If you would like to comment or register concern/opposition to the imported wine tariffs, click https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2019-0003-2518. Not quite sure what so say? Here’s a sample to get you started provided by Gordons Wine.

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer
U.S. Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President
600 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Re: Opposition to Imported Wine Tariffs

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

I am deeply concerned that the United States has chosen to use wine consumers and merchants as bargaining chips in our dispute with Europe regarding the Airbus and digital services taxes dockets: USTR 2019-0009-0038 and USTR 2019-0003-2518.

It is fundamentally unfair to sacrifice imported wines—and the lives of the people who bring them to our tables—in a trade matter than has nothing to do with them. If tariffs are needed, they should be put on the products and services in dispute.

The tariffs that went into effect in October have already seriously impacted wine importers and distributors who had to shoulder the cost. The expanded tariffs will have far more devastating effects. Imported wines generate nearly $30 billion in revenue for US companies, of which 85% stays within our economy.

If the new tariffs are implemented as threatened, hundreds of US companies could close, potentially costing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenues. Those businesses that are able to remain open will do so at a fraction of their current size.

One hundred percent tariffs will bring a virtual end to the availability of great European wines in the U.S. And those few wines that continue to be available will cost double what they do today.

Even American wine producers will be harmed, as the EU retaliates. It is with good reason that they, too, oppose the tariffs.

If the United States has grievances against Europe for subsidizing Airbus or with France for its digital services tax, it should find solutions to resolve these disputes that relate to the affected parties. Please do not unfairly punish American businesses and consumers who have done nothing wrong, yet stand to lose greatly if these tariffs are put into effect.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

We are proud to work with producers, importers, and distributors in order to offer the wide variety of procured old world wines to you, our valued customers, and hope our collective action will help to preserve our ability to continue to do so-

Thank you for taking the time to read this very long email, comment, and perhaps readying for the real possibility of impending significant price increases…

Peace,
Betsy, Doug, &
Bob Thompson

Another example of a letter of concern: http://www.vinography.com/archives/2020/01/your_duty_as_a_wine_loving_cit.html

Another perspective: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/05/opinion/wine-tariff-trump.html

#WineTariffs #PainOfWineTariffs #MakeYourVoiceHeard

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