Trump’s tweet – fact and fiction

Wednesday November 21 2018 by Vitisphere

Donald Trump, President of the United States, criticised the customs duties applied to American wines imported into France.Donald Trump, President of the United States, criticised the customs duties applied to American wines imported into France. - Photo credit : CC0 Creative Commons

On Trade, France makes excellent wine, but so does the U.S. The problem is that France makes it very hard for the U.S. to sell its wines into France, and charges big Tariffs, whereas the U.S. makes it easy for French wines, and charges very small Tariffs. Not fair, must change!” This was the tweet Donald Trump, President of the United States, sent out on November 13.

 

The tweet was widely publicised on social media and by some French media. But what is the truth about customs tariffs between France and the US? It seems that on bottled wine imports, Donald Trump is quite right. A bottle of 13% vol. American white wine imported into the EU pays customs duty of 10 euro cents, while its European counterpart pays customs duty of 5 USD cents (4.4 euro cents) when it enters the USA. Another example is a bottle of red wine at 14.5% vol. The American bottle pays customs duty of 12 euro cents while its European counterpart pays duty of 13 USD cents (11.5 euro cents).

 

Conversely, for bulk wine, the imbalance denounced by Donald Trump is inaccurate.”A litre of 14.5% vol. bulk wine imported into the EU pays customs duty of 12 euro cents, while the same litre imported into the USA pays duty of 22 USD cents (19.49 euro cents)”, says France’s Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters. Interestingly, bulk consignments imported into the European Union represent a quarter of the value of imported wines.

 

The Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters also notes that the customs system in place does not appear to be a barrier to trade. The European Union is the world's largest importer of American wines and over a 10-year period (2008-2017), the value of American wines imported into Europe has increased by 34%. In France, this increase (over the same period) is 200%.

 

 

 

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