In 2019, the EU and the US initiated a trade dispute at WTO level concerning illegal subsidies granted to their respective aircraft industries, Airbus and Boeing. EU wines have been caught in the crossfire of this dispute, with the Trump administration adopting countermeasures applying a 25% additional tariff on French, Spanish, German and UK still wines exported to the US as from October 2019.
In January 2020, CEEV and the US Wine Institute, representing the EU and US wine sectors and respectively, signed a landmark “EU-US wine sector statement of principle on trade”, aimed at underlining the importance of the transatlantic wine trade and calling on the EU and US governments to further open access to each other’s markets.
With total trade reaching €4,66 billion in 2018, the EU and the US are each other’s largest export markets, creating jobs and investment opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic. All in all, CEEV and the Wine Institute represent tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses across the EU and US economies.
Through this joint statement, the EU and US wine sectors reaffirmed their support for free and fair trade and urged leaders in both markets to prioritize three principles that are essential to the whole wine value chain, from grape to glass including wineries, grape growers, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers and hospitality providers.
The longstanding partnership between the EU and the US wine sectors is instrumental in boosting wine export growth and it should be preserved and supported, for mutual benefit.
For the sake of both EU and US wine exporters, all tariffs on wine should be eliminated on both sides (“zero for zero” principle) to guarantee a free, fair and open access to each other’s wine markets.
Wine should not be targeted with retaliatory tariffs as a way to negotiate trade outcomes in other areas, that are unrelated to wine (“wine for wine” principle). Retaliatory tariffs create economic uncertainty and bring about price increases that will affect American and EU consumers and companies alike.