Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s (WSWA) immediate past chairman and Executive Vice President of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Barkley Stuart testified at a public hearing held by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, urging the administration to remove champagne and French sparkling wine from the list of proposed retaliatory tariffs being considered in response to the recent French Digital Services Tax (DST). Throughout his testimony, Stuart warned of the numerous unintended consequences these duties will have on U.S. business, consumers and jobs.
In 2018 alone, champagne and sparkling wine from France accounted for 12.14 percent of total U.S. wine imports and 2.76 percent of the entire U.S. wine market. Evenly distributed across the entire U.S. market, the proposed 100 percent tariff on French sparkling wines would lead to an overall price increase on wine by 2.5 percent and demand models developed by WSWA estimate a reduction of 1.84 percent in overall U.S. wine sales that will ultimately lead to a total of 17, 000 lost jobs and more than $750 million in lost wages. Additionally, the model predicts a total cost to the American economy of more than $2 billion.
A full transcript of Stuart’s testimony can be found here.