French Tariffs under President Biden?

January 22, 2021 by French Corner Cellars

As the dust begins to settle from the inauguration of our 46th president, many in the wine & spirits industry are wondering what path Joe Biden will take in regards to the tariffs placed for the French imports.

In order of importance, the issue is sure to be down the likely very long list - but maybe not as as far as you think.

According to the FEVS, the newly enacted tariff on wine & cognac (who have been hit especially hard) will cost the wine exports sector 1 billion, this of course is passed down to U.S. businesses who rely heavily on these products. Washington recently suspended a 1.3 trillion tariff on other French products over a digital tax, an action that has given some hope to the quick repeal of the wine tariffs.

Ben Aneff, president of the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance (USWTA). “The budget office is not allowed to consider income from tariffs in any budget matters,” he explains. “Eliminating tariffs on wine and spirits is something that could provide relief, and it officially costs the United States zero dollars.”

The other end of the coin believes that ending the tariffs will come at it own cost. Adam Posen, president of the Washington D.C. think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics said that even with Trump out of the picture, American interests are still what counts most in Washington.

"The Biden administration somewhat disappointingly is not just going to reverse all the tariffs," Posen explained. "They will certainly stop escalating them and they will stop some of the more ridiculous tariffs that were put on allies with national security excuses. But there will be some attempt by the Biden administration to extract things in return for reducing the tariffs."

For now, it seems, as the world watches, and the experts prepare for the numerous paths halting the tariffs could take, there is nothing to do now but wait, we will update at the matter progresses. / /