“France taxes wine a lot and we tax little French wine,” said the US president on CNBC. “This country (the United States) allows French wine – which is very good– (…) to come in for nothing,” he said. “It's not fair, we're going to do something to (rebalance) that,” said the Republican president. Last November, Donald Trump had already denounced the trade imbalance between France and the United States on wine products, in tweets targeting Emmanuel Macron
“France makes things very difficult to sell American wine in France and raises heavy customs taxes, while the United States makes things easier for French wines and has only low tariffs. It must change! “, he was annoyed on Twitter. These new comments come as the United States and the European Union are in talks to find a trade deal. For now, Brussels does not want to include the agricultural sector in a treaty. As a member of the European Union, France does not itself determine the level of taxation of imported products.
Imbalance of customs tariffs
That said, there is an imbalance in tariffs. In the United States, taxes range from 5.3 to 14.9 cents per bottle, depending on the nature of the wine and the degree of alcohol, according to the US International Trade Commission. In Europe, they range from 11 to 29 cents.
The European market is however far from being closed to American wines since between 2007 and 2018, imports of “made in America” wine have thus increased by 200% in France, Europe being by far the leading export market for American products, according to French Customs. The US market, on the other hand, is not as open as it looks. The United States thus recognize the trademarks but not the appellations of origin, which is a brake for French products.