Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump surprised Twitter with the statement that tariffs imposed by the EU make it "very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France," while "the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs." The full text of the tweet is below:
"On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S. The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!"
To be sure, America does have an uneven relationship with France where wine importing and exporting are concerned. The United States is currently the world's largest export market for French wine, while American wine is not as popular in France, or across Europe in general. As New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov points out however, "European wine regions have a centuries old practice of drinking local wines. This is heritage but it is slowly evolving. Still, it's rare that anybody in Sicily will drink Tuscan wine and vice versa." In other words, the lack of popularity of American wine in Europe is more a matter of tradition and taste than of tariffs.
In terms of the tariffs themselves, the "big" EU tariffs that Trump referred to range from $0.11 to $0.29 per 750ml, compared to the "small" American tariffs of $0.05 to $0.14 - not exactly a crippling difference. Still we are curious to hear the opinions of our readers, so please write us with your comments.