The French wine industry has pushed a “Phew” of relief on Friday March 5, learning of the trade truce concluded the same day between the United States and the European Union. French wines are indeed one of the main victims of the already long-standing conflict between the two parties over their subsidies to the aeronautical sector.
25% tax on wines and spirits
The United States and the European Union have accused each other since 2004 of illegally subsidizing Boeing and Airbus, a dispute brought before the WTO. Washington was authorized in October 2019 to impose taxes on nearly 7.5 billion dollars of European goods and services imported each year, up to 25% for wines and spirits, and 15% for Airbus planes. In a mirror decision a year later, the WTO authorized Brussels to impose taxes on products imported from the United States. The EU has since imposed tariffs on $ 4 billion in US exports.
” A new start “
On the occasion of the first official telephone exchange between US President Joe Biden and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the two parties decided on March 4 to suspend these crossed tariffs for four months and affirmed their will to take ” a new start “ in their business relationship.
Joe Biden “Underlined its support for the European Union and its commitment to repair and revitalize the USA-EU partnership”, said the White House in a brief account of this call. The two parties have set themselves the goal of “To achieve a negotiated, comprehensive and lasting solution to aviation disputes”, according to this joint press release.
Relief in France
The French authorities immediately expressed their relief. “Finally, we are coming out of the trade war between the United States and Europe, which only makes losers”, thus welcomed the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire. “We are now going to work with the Commission and our European partners to reach an agreement within four months on new rules governing public support for the aeronautics sector, which is in line with our interests and without naivety”, added the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester.
A similar deal with Britain
« Chis announcement is a relief for the French wine industry which has been subject to these taxes for many months, welcomed the professional organizations of the wine sector. (…) This suspension is announced for a period of four months. It is now necessary that this first very positive step is concretized by a resolution of the conflict ”.
The day before, the British government announced the conclusion of a similar agreement with the American administration, ending customs duties on British products such as Scotch whiskey.