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Help Fight 100% Tariffs on All European Wines

Join the fight against 100% tariffs that would cause fine wine prices to skyrocket.

Dear friends, we need your help.

The entire wine industry – from producers to retailers to consumers and more – need your help!  And it will take less than 5 minutes of your time total.

The United States Government is threatening to impose 100% tariffs on wines from the European Union (including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German wines). If these tariffs go through, the price of wines to both retailers and wine lovers could skyrocket. We need your help. We are asking you to contact your U.S. Congressperson and U.S. Senators, as well as the U.S. Trade Representative and tell them NOT TO SUPPORT THESE DESTRUCTIVE and ANTI-CONSUMER TARIFFS.

Below are two links that will allow you to email your U.S. House Representative and another to contact your U.S. Senators. Each link takes you to a page where you need only 30 seconds to send a letter to your elected officials.

Additionally, please forward this letter to your fellow citizens who want their voices heard on this subject.

Write to Congress  

Below are two links that will allow you to email your U.S. House Representative and your U.S. Senator. Each link takes you to a page where it will take just 30 seconds to send a letter to your representatives (which will be routed automatically based on your address).

Email your Congressperson

Email your Senators

Write to the U.S. Trade Representative
Below in italics is wording for a letter that you can use to write to the U.S. Trade Representative at the website they have created to take input on proposed tariff
Copy the italicized wording below, then click on the link to Email the U.S. Trade Representative, then paste the wording into the “Comment (Required)” box provided. You will be asked for your first and last name, but may remain anonymous by skipping these fields.

Write to the US Trade Representative

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

                        Re: Opposition to Tariffs on Imported Wine from the European Union

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

I am writing as a customer and consumer of imported and domestic wines that is concerned with the multiple rounds of tariffs that are being imposed and considered on wine from the European Union (“EU”).  I strongly urge you not to punish me, or my fellow wine lovers, or the hardworking wine retailers for problems we didn’t cause. It’s unfair at face value. You should punish those responsible. Punishing Airbus and their suppliers and French digital services companies would be much more effective, as well as fair.

Beginning on October 18, 2019, the U.S. Government imposed a 25-percent tariff on certain French wine as part of retaliatory tariffs against the European Union (“EU”) after the World Trade Organization authorized retaliation for the EU’s failure to comply with WTO rulings on subsidies provided to Airbus. All the while Airbus itself was only issued a 10% tariff. I understand that a 100-percent tariff is proposed on French sparkling wine (consisting mostly of champagne) and that this tariff is part of the Section 301 duties imposed on imports from France as a result of the country’s Digital Services Tax (“DST”). Finally, on December 10, 2019, USTR proposed imposing tariffs of up to 100 percent on all wines from the EU.

Because of these import tariffs, the prices will go up dramatically for wine. Margins on wine are extremely small, and the sale of wine is highly regulated, with virtually every state imposing a three-tier distribution system with markups occurring at each tier of distribution.  Thus, a 25-percent tariff on wine imports will likely result in a 50-percent increase and a 100-percent tariff on wine imports will likely result in a 150-percent increase in prices for a consumer like me.

There is no substitute for imports of wine from the EU. Wines from the EU are different from domestic wines and wines from other countries as a matter of consumer taste.  In addition, because it takes many years to plant new grape vineyards and allow the vineyards to produce mature fruit that can be harvested to make wine, it will take at least a decade before the U.S. domestic wine industry could ever be in a position to begin replacing wine imports from the EU.

As a wine consumer, I do not understand why individual consumers like me should suffer because of a dispute involving Boeing and Airbus or France’s digital services tax.  Retaliatory tariffs on these matters should target Airbus and their suppliers who benefitted from the subsidies or French digital services companies.

Thank you for taking the time to write your representatives and push back against what would be skyrocketing prices if these 100% tariffs go into effect.
Sincerely,

Perrine Prieur