Wine aficionados may want to stock up on their favorite French wines, given the Trump administration's proposal to levy a tariff of up to 100% on European wine imports. The measure is being called "catastrophic" by wine importers and other businesses that rely on selling wine imports to U.S. consumers.
The tariff, which doesn't have a timeline for implementation, is currently under review, with an open comment period that closes on January 13. The measure has drawn more than 4,300 comments through Friday morning, with wine importers, retailers, restaurateurs and consumers objecting to the proposed tariff. Some, like Robert Maxon of Varmax Liquor Pantry, said the tariff would cause them to lay off workers.
The proposed 100% tariff comes after the U.S. slapped ain retaliation for what the World Trade Organization ruled was illegal European subsidies to French aircraft maker Airbus. In December, the Trump administration proposed the 100% tariff in retaliation for a French tax on U.S. tech companies like Google.
Aside from wine, other European imports that could face a new tariff of up to 100% include cheeses like Stilton and Parmesan, Italian olive oil, Kerrygold butter and Scotch whisky, among other products.
But it will be American consumers and businesses that pay the price, said Food & Wine magazine's executive wine editor, Ray Isle. "Those tariffs hit when those wines land at the U.S. port," Isle told CBSN. "You are looking at potentially doubling the price of all the wines" imported from Europe.
In other words, that $30 bottle of champagne could set you back by $60, if the tariffs move forward. (It's possible the administration could delay any new trade taxes as it negotiates with France.)