American lovers of fine European wines are bracing for the worst after President Trump said that he plans to do something about the tariffs the EU imposes on American wine. “France charges us a lot for the wine. And yet we charge them very little for French wine,” the president told CNBC on Monday, adding that domestic winemakers have complained to him about what they consider unfair treatment by the European Union.
According to the Wine Institute, an industry group representing Californian winemakers, the EU charges $0.11 to $0.29 per 750ml bottle imported from the United States, depending on the alcohol content. The U.S. on the other hand only charges $0.05 cents per bottle of still wine and $0.14 per bottle of sparkling wine brought into the country.
As the following chart shows, it is certainly true that American wines don’t sell too well in Europe’s traditional wine countries. But knowing how proud Italian, French or Spanish people are of their wines, it is highly doubtful that their lack of interest in California’s finest grapes has anything to do with tariffs.