In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, California Senators Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla, along with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, urged the Biden administration to remove retaliatory tariffs that are hurting the U.S. wine industry.
The trade disputes with China and the European Union that escalated under the former Trump administration resulted in China imposing 54 percent tariffs on U.S. wine, while imports of European wine into the U.S. were hit with 25 percent tariffs as part of the ongoing disagreement with the EU over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus.
“We write to ask that you work to permanently eliminate the unnecessary and damaging tariffs on imported and exported wine that are harming U.S. vintners,” stated the senators.
They added that, “Wineries in our states are already under siege by the pandemic, wildfires, and now drought. Many will not survive if they are also asked to indefinitely sustain a damaging trade war.”
Some good news materialized on Monday, May 17, when the EU agreed to drop its plan to raise tariffs on American whiskeys, motorcycles, boats and other goods, which were scheduled for implementation on June 1.
At the same time, the U.S. and EU issued a joint statement on their intention to resolve problems in the global steel and aluminum industries, and “agreed to chart a path toward resolving the dispute that led to tariffs.”
Simply put, these are all good signs that the U.S. wine industry may see some relief from retaliatory tariffs that have hurt the industry these past few years.