U.S. imposes new duties on wine from France and Germany

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The U.S. will introduce new duties on wine and other alcoholic beverages from France and Germany from January 12. According to The Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump’s administration took this step as part of the years-long dispute between Washington and Brussels over subsidies for the production of Boeing and Airbus commercial airliners, which is accompanied by a “tariff battle”.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, they are now talking about 25 percent duties on wines with an alcohol content of more than 14 percent. Earlier these duties did not apply to these drinks. Attitudes changed after U.S. sales rose last year, interest increased as lighter wines from France and Spain were hit by tariffs on alcoholic beverages up to 14 percent strength.

“With what’s happening amid a pandemic of restaurant and winery closures, now is simply not the time to hit an industry that’s already facing economic consequences,” Christine Locasio, director of public policy for the U.S. Liquor Council, criticized the authorities’ decision. “We are extremely disappointed that the U.S. has announced additional tariffs,” she added.

In addition to spirits, brandy and aircraft equipment were also subject to the new duties.

Recall that a dispute between the United States and the European Union broke out because of the subsidies that Boeing and Airbus received. The World Trade Organization recognized them as illegal. Since the U.S. suit was first considered, Washington was the first to impose tariffs of 15-25 percent on $7.5 billion worth of European goods. Brussels responded by taxing a number of U.S. goods. And after ruling on the EU’s lawsuit against the U.S., it imposed $4 billion in duties on U.S. products. Late last year, EU trade commissioner and vice-president of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis noted that the EU wanted both sides to cancel their tariffs, but negotiations failed, and Brussels decided to introduce new tariffs, which caused discontent already in Washington.

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