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Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on the Trump administration to not implement a proposed 100 percent tariff on wines imported from the European Union. Increasing the tariff, currently set at 25 percent, would further hurt the U.S. wine industry by likely escalating the recent trade war with the EU, which has said it would retaliate against any new U.S. tariffs.

“Experience shows repeatedly that the costs of U.S. tariffs are borne mainly by U.S. companies and consumers,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “U.S. firms engaged in the wine industry, many of which are small businesses, are not in a financial position to absorb the magnitude of the costs that will result from these tariffs, and may not survive. In addition, these tariffs are likely to lead to retaliatory trade EU sanctions on U.S. wines that would further damage these same industries.”

Full text of the letter follows:

January 13, 2020

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer
United States Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

I write to oppose the U.S. Trade Representative’s proposed tariffs on wines from the European Union. Imposing additional tariffs on EU wines will primarily hurt U.S. businesses and consumers, and will likely lead to retaliatory action against U.S. wines, the best wines made in the world.

I share the concerns of numerous California distributors, retailers, importers, and restaurants that the costs of these additional tariffs will further harm the U.S. wine and hospitality industries. Experience shows repeatedly that the costs of U.S. tariffs are borne mainly by U.S. companies and consumers. U.S. firms engaged in the wine industry, many of which are small businesses, are not in a financial position to absorb the magnitude of the costs that will result from these tariffs, and may not survive. In addition, these tariffs are likely to lead to retaliatory trade EU sanctions on U.S. wines that would further damage these same industries.

I ask that you stop these tariffs, or at least stay them until the Congress can properly assess their likely effectiveness and their impact on the U.S. economy and its food and beverage industries.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate

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