A dispute over airline subsidies and taxation of U.S. digital services companies has imperiled the wine industry and likely, some of your favorite producers.
I'm certain that many of you have heard of the possible 100% tariffs on wines from the European Union. The deadline to oppose the tariffs is Monday, January 6th.
Like many others, if the tariffs are enacted, I can only see a long trail of suffering. Everyone from truckers to wine directors will lose their jobs; many of our winemaker friends will struggle to get by; consumers will have fewer and much more expensive choices; and domestic producers could lose important export markets.
If you oppose the tariffs and have not already voiced your opinion, I encourage you to write to United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, using this link before January 6th. You can paste the italicized text below or write your own message.
Also provided below are links to let your congressional representatives know that you're against the proposed tariffs.
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.
Write your congress:
Crush Wine & Spirits