Gérard Bertrand welcomes lifting of US additional duties in time for white and rosé marketing campaign

Monday March 15 2021 by Vitisphere

 “We can only plan four months ahead. We have to take the news as it comes”, says Gérard Bertrand, who has learned in the US market that you have to see far but aim short. “We can only plan four months ahead. We have to take the news as it comes”, says Gérard Bertrand, who has learned in the US market that you have to see far but aim short. - Photo credit : Gérard Bertrand

Languedoc wine producer Gérard Bertrand, who claims to be the leading French wine brand in the United States, shares his thoughts on the effects of the suspension of US additional duties for the next four months.

 

What is your reaction to the news that US taxes on French wines have been lifted?

 

Gérard Bertrand: It's a relief! We've been struggling for 18 months with these taxes in the United States. They affect our operating accounts and our ability to promote our wines. Having said that, we have to be careful, we have a four-month period ahead of us. The dispute [Ed: between Airbus and Boeing] has been going on for 17 years. If negotiators can settle in four months what has not been settled in 17 years, then they are extremely clever... The important thing is that wine is no longer held hostage in a dispute that has nothing to do with it.

 

Do you foresee a rapid recovery of your sales?

 

As a reminder, our brand is the leading French wine brand in the United States. We have already paid the taxes [Ed: +25%] on a third of our volumes. A third of our requirements for the year are already in the States, so we don't have the same flexibility as if the taxes had been suspended in December. There is no cancellation of the taxes already levied. We’re going to have to reach a compromise for the wines already sold, because this is a key period for the change of vintage.

 

We can view [the lifting of the taxes] with even greater optimism because this is the start of the summer buying campaign for whites and rosés. It will enable us to sort out our prices. We will be able to do promotions that we had been unable to do.

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