The Future of American Tariffs: A Trump Phenomenon or Here To Stay?
Harmon Skurnik and Mark Fornatale
Skurnik has been importing wines and spirits from the EU for 33 years, and not once were tariffs considered a serious threat until last year. Now, with the Trump Administration initiating trade wars all over the globe, the threat to EU wine and spirits producers is very real, as evidenced by the October 2019 imposition of a 25% tariff on Spanish, French and German wines, based on the so-called Airbus dispute. Going forward, additional tariff threats loom, due mainly to the Digital Services Taxes being proposed throughout the EU, which the US government calls “discriminatory against US companies”. This situation threatens to bring about new tariffs of up to 100% on wines and spirits throughout Europe, and this time, on Italian wines as well. As a founding board member of the United States Wine Trade Alliance, a trade group doing everything in their power to avoid new tariffs and remove current ones, Harmon is well-equipped to give you the latest updates on this fraught situation, including what the tariff landscape will look like in 2021 and beyond.