Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As expected, the U.S. Trade Representative has opened the public comment portal for the WTO / Large Civil Aircraft dispute, which includes all of the current tariffs on wine from the EU. The portal will be open through July 26, and the USTR will announce their decision regarding any potential changes to the tariffs on or about August 12. The USTR is required to go through this “carousel” process every 180 days.
We urge every member of the wine trade, whether business principal or entry-level staff member, to take advantage of this opportunity, and to submit comments asking the USTR to carousel the tariffs off of wine. It is important that comments speak to the matter at hand, and answer the questions relevant to the USTR. The original text can be found under the “Request for Public Comments” listed here, and can be summarized as follows:
– Should certain tariffs be increased, decreased, or removed from the list?
– Are the tariffs in question likely to lead the EU to resolve the Large Civil Aircraft matter?
– Do the tariffs cause disproportionate harm to U.S. interests, particularly small to medium sized businesses and consumers?
As you are crafting your comments, please remember, the USTR does not value generic anti-tariff viewpoints. From their perspective, they have one tool to influence the EU to halt the illegal subsidies to Airbus, and it is through tariffs. Members of both parties see this as a key issue, and believe in the overall goal of the USTR in this matter, bringing the EU into compliance with respect to the Large Civil Aircraft case. Thoughtfully-written comments that speak to the disproportionate damage tariffs on wine cause to U.S. businesses, and the ineffectiveness of tariffs on wine in bringing about change from the EU, will be a good start. Businesses should tell their own story of the negative impact these tariffs are causing, and ask the USTR to carousel wine off of the tariff list, replacing them with tariffs on products that do less damage to U.S. businesses, and that are more likely to influence the EU.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. And if you are a member of the wine trade and haven’t yet signed up for membership, please do! You’ll receive regular updates that will keep you apprised of the latest in the fight against wine tariffs.