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Increased wine tariff presumably called off, local businesses relieved

Boris Wiedenfeld-Needham, owner of Bo's Wine Depot, said that a proposed 100 percent tariff would likely cause many small stores to close their doors or cut jobs.

Posted: Jan 26, 2020 5:57 PM
Updated: Jan 27, 2020 10:19 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Proposed tariffs on wine have local businesses begging for relief from the Trump administration, even after national developments appear to have pushed the trade dispute back.

In October 2019, a 25 percent tariff was imposed on imported wine with an alcohol content under 14 percent. While this targets all retailers that sell the product, local business owners are saying it has hit them the hardest.

More recently, a 100 percent tariff on wine was proposed by Donald Trump following subsidies Europe provided to French founded aeronautics company Airbus and proposed European taxes levied against Facebook and Google.

However, it has since been presumably called off after a conversation between Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron, agreeing to address the dispute in 2020.

Boris Wiedenfeld-Needham, owner of Bo's Wine Depot, said that a proposed 100 percent tariff would likely cause many small stores to close their doors or cut jobs.

In a statement released to KEZI, he said, "Most American winemakers we have heard from, say that these tariffs will also very likely significantly hurt their business, so it’s a lose-lose all around."

He also said you could virtually kiss French, Italian, and Spanish wines goodbye unless you are willing to pay 200 percent its price.

Locally, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden released a statement saying in part: "All across our state I've heard from constituents, small business owners, and winegrowers how harmful tariffs would be to Oregon's economy... It would be to everyone's benefit to resolve these trade disputes with Europe quickly."

The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America predict that a 100 percent tariff on wine would have destroyed 17,000 American jobs

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