Padilla, Senators to Biden Administration: Work Toward Ending Wine Tariffs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) called on U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to work toward ending tariffs on wine.
In response to a series of escalating tariffs put in place by the Trump administration beginning in 2018, China imposed a 54 percent tariff on American wine. The Trump administration also imposed a separate 25 percent tariff on wine from European Union member states, raising the cost of wine distribution in the United States and increasing the risk of retaliation against U.S. wines.
“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,” the senators wrote.
The senators continued: “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.”
Full text of the letter is available here and below:
Dear Ambassador Tai and Secretary Raimondo,
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.
As you know, U.S. wine currently faces a 54% retaliatory tariff in China that in 2019 alone decreased U.S. exports by 34% to a market that was quickly growing. Vintners that were shipping pallets worth of wine are now only shipping cases, or none at all, as Chinese consumers turn to wine from other countries.
In addition, imported wine from the EU faces a 25% tariff when entering the U.S. market. While these tariffs are currently suspended pending negotiations, they have increased costs for wine distribution in the United States, harming U.S. companies as well as European ones and especially straining small wineries that have limited capacity to supply the vast U.S. market. It is critical that the Boeing-Airbus dispute is resolved before the current tariff suspensions end. If they are not, we fear that U.S. wines may be subject to new, damaging tariffs when entering the EU.
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. Thank you for your support of this critical industry, and we look forward to working with you to support free and fair trade.