The new US 25% tariffs on Italian cheese, French wine, Scotch whiskey, British cookies, Spanish olives and thousands of other European food products will lead to higher prices before the holiday season and will cost jobs to Americans Commercial groups said Thursday.
The Office of the US Trade Representative said Wednesday that it was imposing tariffs on hundreds of European products after the World Trade Organization gave the green light to the action in response to EU subsidies on large airplanes.
The Specialty Food Association said in a statement that tariffs would decrease sales and adversely affect employment in the United States in 14,000 specialty food retailers and 20,000 other food retailers in the United States. The impact would be «dramatic,» said the commercial group.
Higher prices «will affect Americans in the wallet just when the holiday season is approaching,» the group said. “The cheese / sausage table that currently costs you $ 45 will return you $ 60 after the rates. The gifts you give your family to celebrate Thanksgiving and end of the year vacations may be out of reach. «
Single malt whiskey accounts for more than half of the total value of British products on the U.S. tariff list. UU., That amounts to more than $ 460 million, according to the Scotch Whiskey Association.
Shares of European luxury goods, including the British fashion brand Burberry Group Plc (BRBY.L), and beverage companies, such as France’s Remy Cointreau SA (RCOP.PA), rose on Thursday after tariffs excluded Cognac, champagne and leather goods.
This week’s tariffs for Scotch, spirits and cordial whiskey, and wine could affect nearly $ 3.4 billion in imports «and could lead to a loss of approximately 13,000 jobs in the United States, including truck drivers, farmers, and waiters and servers in the hotel industry, «said the Spirited Said the Spirits Council.
José Andrés, a Spanish Michelin-star chef who has helped provide millions of meals in areas affected by natural disasters and owns more than a dozen American restaurants, criticized the tariffs on Twitter on Thursday, saying that «it will affect not only the economies in Europe, but thousands of small American businesses everywhere! «
He urged the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to reconsider: “Are you a negotiator? A businessman! If you can negotiate with the enemies, first do it with the allies. ” In June 2018, the EU imposed tariffs of 25% on American whiskey in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum. The EU is now considering more tariffs on additional American spirits and wine as part of a separate WTO civil aviation investigation.
Since the new EU tariffs, US whiskey exports have declined by 21 percent.