Wine organizations call for end to tariffs

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Wine for wine': The industry is concerned that wine is being targeted in unrelated trade disputes. Pic:getty/jeanphilippewallet
'Wine for wine': The industry is concerned that wine is being targeted in unrelated trade disputes. Pic:getty/jeanphilippewallet

Related tags: Wine, Us, Eu

Wine organizations in the EU and US have signed a statement of principle on trade and tariffs: highlighting the importance of the transatlantic wine trade and calling for the immediate elimination of all tariffs on wine.

Both the US and the EU are each other’s largest export markets, with total trade reaching $5.33bn (€4.66bn) in 2018, creating jobs and investment on both sides of the Atlantic.

But tariffs – such as those introduced over the Boeing / Airbus subsidies battles​ and those threatened over France’s tech tax – are a concern for the industry.  

Wine for wine 

Signed by Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) in Europe and Wine Institute in the US, the statement of principle on trade and tariffs asks governments refrain from targeting wine with retaliatory tariffs in unrelated trade disputes.

It calls on the governments of the EU and US to preserve and strengthen the EU-US wine partnership by completely eliminating tariffs (a concept known as “zero for zero”) and refraining from targeting wine in unrelated trade disputes (“wine for wine”).

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) embraced “zero for zero” for certain products more than 20 years ago, leading to increased trade for those products that benefited from a zero tariff.

Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV, said: “A free wine trade environment is essential to preserve the longstanding efforts and investments of our wine companies.

“We urge authorities to protect our sector from being caught in the crossfire in unrelated trade disputes.”

Robert P. “Bobby” Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute, said: “Export markets are a key growth opportunity for US wineries, but tariffs of any kind stand in the way. It is time for all governments to recognize the unique benefits of the wine trade and eliminate tariffs once and for all.”

Additional signatories to the statement of principle will be announced in the future.

Related topics: Markets, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider

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