- The US has threatened to levy tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion worth of products from France.
- In testimony before US trade officials this month, US businesses warned that the tariffs would raise prices for consumers and lead to job losses.
- “The proposed tariffs would force the price of these wines to the point where they would be unsellable,” one company told the US trade office.
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The US has threatened to levy tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion worth of products from France, a move meant to retaliate against a tax on digital services the European nation passed this summer.
France is just the latest country to crack down on the charge that large technology companies avoid taxes through subsidiaries in other countries. The Trump administration criticized the policy, saying it disproportionately affected American technology companies like Facebook and Google and is inconsistent with international tax policy.
But the retaliatory tariffs Trump proposed – on wine, cheese, handbags and other products – have drawn widespread backlash from domestic companies. In testimony before US trade officials this month, they warned the tariffs would raise prices for consumers and lead to job losses.
Irene Jiang / Business Insider
Besides the nearly 300 employees in South Carolina and the other employees across the U.S., please consider the following potential impacts from a tariff of 100 percent on Le Creuset products. And admit an immediate freeze on hiring for all open positions, severe economic hardship on approximately 115 local business partners, postponing or canceling of the $3.2 million expenditure of local capital improvement projects. -Le Creuset
It would actually disproportionately harm Americans, consumers, workers, retailers and restaurants. American workers will suffer greater harm than French workers. -Staub
I can say without doubt that were this tariff to be enacted and include sparkling wines, my business would suffer greatly. At best, it would be the loss of a significant amount of revenue, and at worst likely leading to drastic losses in sales, profitability, and potentially leading to layoffs. -Cutting Edge Selections
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
We are a small business that supports other small businesses. And because of this, we have a unique outlook as to how far-reaching the ripple effect of these potentially catastrophic and blatantly protectionist tariffs could be to hundreds of thousands of Americans. -Selection Massale
As a small business owner, a business that I have been involved in building now for 15 years, I can assure the committee that the results of any increased tariff burden — and, indeed, the 25 percent tariffs that have already been levied on most of our products — run the risk of putting us out of business. -Vintage ’59 Imports
I wish I could compile and cite the specific numbers of jobs, the businesses, and the local tax coffers that will be damaged by the increased tariffs. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time because I have a small business to run. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to continue running it. -CopakeWineWorks
If these tariffs come to past, the only possible end result I can see from my company is to shrink and lay people off. That’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that I can’t maintain the debt load I have from still paying back my former business partner and mortgage and I have to shut down. -Devenish Wines
With regards to the proposed 100 percent tariffs I will say with all seriousness and without exaggeration that I do not know how we would be able to survive. Without a doubt we would have to lay people off, which would be very hard considering we have a team of about 20 employees, whom we all appreciate and care about. -Chambers Street Wines
Any tariff action taken here would either significantly increase consumer cost or more likely price the product out of the market, leaving the consumer with less choice in the marketplace. -Bel BrandsUSA
The overall health of our company, as we operate our two production plants in the United States, providing U.S. jobs in rural areas, is dependent on these imports. Imposing tariffs cause serious economic harm to us, reduces US jobs and the overall viability of our U.S. operations. -Materne North America
“We are the largest online retailer of wine, and the effects that this tax would have on our company are beyond measure. Our colleagues, who are smaller businesses who you are going to hear from, would feel the effects on a much greater scale. As you have heard and will continue to hear, they will no longer be operational. -wine.com
Among the three major markets these tariffs would affect it is the U.S., not Europe, that would see the most damage, and China who would see the benefits. It is, without hyperbole, that I tell you that the proposed tariffs would be the greatest threat to the wine industry since Prohibition in 1919. -Tribeca Wine Merchants
Barry Brecheisen/Invision for InStyle Magazine/AP Images
The implementation of a 100 percent tariff on French sparkling wines will result in at least a 150 percent increase in the shelf and wine list prices, factoring in the margins of each participant in the government-mandated 3-tier system. These increases would decrease consumption, eliminate demand, and generate no incremental funds. -BNP Distribution Company
The proposed tariffs would force the price of these wines to the point where they would be unsellable. And that’s not even to mention the completely untenable cash flow issues that we have of having to pay these tariffs upon arrival at the port. If you could imagine having to pay double for a container when the wine arrives rather than having the typically 90 days to pay a bill. -Bowler Wine
We are pretty sure that if the French cheese tariff increased then the consequence will be just that micromarket will vanish in the air and disappear forever. And there is no way that American production would replace it. -INTERVALExport
Our plan for 2020 was to continue to develop our New York and California distribution by hiring two full — two more full-time employees. Instead, the proposed tariffs, which range from 25 percent to 100 percent tariffs in French wine, will absolutely bankrupt our business and further hurt our U.S. customers’ ability to purchase and sell wine. -Avant Garde
Revenue and jobs would also be negatively affected at the over 40 American companies with whom we spend $5 million per year on products and services to support our business. I’ve already laid off one position due to the extreme uncertainty around the DST and Airbus disputes. -Laurent-Perrier US