U.S. wine industry fears proposed 100% tariffs on French imports

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U.S. wine industry fears proposed 100% tariffs on French imports

U.S. consumers will pay the biggest price for the proposed 100% on French Champagne and other sparkling wines, cheese, porcelain, enamel cookware, and handbags, witnesses said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office proposed punitive duties last month on $2.4 billion worth of imports from France after concluding that a new French digital services tax would harm U.S. companies.

The tariffs would come after an already-imposed 25% tariffs by the U.S. on European imports such as the Airbus jets and European cheeses and wines in a dispute with the E.U. over aircrafts subsidies. Last month, Washington said it would raise its tariffs to 100% on additional EU products unless a settlement was reached.

"The domino effect of unintended consequences from the proposed tariffs would be catastrophic for tens of thousands of American businesses," Aneff told U.S. government officials at a hearing hosted by USTR on the French tariff issue.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America estimates that 100% tariffs on French sparkling wines alone would trim overall U.S. wine sales by nearly 2%, resulting in the loss of 17,000 jobs and a cost to the U.S. economy of $2 billion.

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