Tariffs on Wine and Spirits: Current Impact & Future Threats

With the hospitality industry reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this webinar highlighted how tariffs at this time could be a knock-out blow for many businesses. Recorded on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Webinar Panelists

 

TAKE ACTION ON TARIFFS

Take action now to oppose the retaliatory tariffs on EU wines, spirits, and beer/non-alcoholic beer as a result of the Airbus trade dispute. Since October 2019, 25 percent retaliatory tariffs have been imposed by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on certain wines and spirits from the EU. Now, USTR is proposing to raise those tariffs up to 100 percent and expand the categories of wine and spirits subject to retaliatory tariffs and add other products to the tariff list.  Job losses, business closures, and higher prices and less selections for consumers are directly caused by these retaliatory tariffs

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

 

  • On premise retail is the lifeline of many wholesalers, unfair taxes or tariffs combined with COVID shutdowns mean wholesalers are fighting for every dollar -- leading to raised consumer prices and delayed container shipments and new hires.

  • An increase in or expansion of tariffs will means prices are going to get passed through the supply chain to the consumer, many products will be sold less, and consumer choice will decrease. On premise are hurting by COVID, when it comes time to restock their shelves, they’re not going to be buying wine or spirits products at higher prices.

  • European suppliers -- because of U.S. tariffs -- are looking to compensate in third markets. None want to leave the US behind, with its strong market and sophisticated consumers, but they will need to balance losses in the US somewhere else.

  • Being united as an industry and together making our case to USTR and Members of Congress --  while using evidence of their negative impact on American businesses and consumers -- is the best way to get our products removed from the tariff list.

CONTACTS:

 

  • For media inquiries, contact Michael Bilello at michael@wswa.org.

  • Interested in becoming a WSWA member? Contact Catherine McDaniel at catherine@wswa.org.