Gourmands and oenophiles, the seasons of our discontent are at end. The glorious summer is upon us. The U.S. and the European Union announced a suspension of their long running trade dispute this week. The move includes an immediate halt to tariffs on wine, whiskey, whisky, and even Jamón Iberico.
Specifically, in October, the US slapped a 25% tariff on the majority of European wines and liquors. The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) then announced sanctions that will expanded the charge to include all EU wines as well as brandies (eg Cognac!) The EU retaliated by taxing American spirits with a particular eye towards Kentucky (home of Mitch McConnell) Whiskey.
However, the new agreement rescinds all of these measures. “Today’s announcement resolves a longstanding trade irritant in the U.S.-Europe relationship,” said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
The US was not alone in hailing the truce as a key development. The tariffs were devastated the spirits industries in both nations as producers were forced to swallow the rising costs (so don’t expect a price reduction now!)
“With the agreement reached on the Airbus-Boeing dispute, American tariffs on French products, including wine, have been lifted,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron. “These are the first results of our new relationship with our American partners. This is effective cooperation. This is good news for our wine producers!”