Wine’s About to Get Cheaper. Here’s Why.

Here's what you need to know about suspended tariffs on goods from the European Union.

March 11, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham

A new development has the wine industry heaving a sigh of relief. Just last week, the European Union and the United States announced a temporary slackening of the tariffs that have put a strain on their economic relationship. So what exactly does this mean?

As a result of an almost 20-year dispute over airline subsidies, the World Trade Organization gave the two entities go-ahead to impose a slew of tariffs on imported goods. During the Trump administration, these tariffs were slapped onto a bunch of luxury goods making their way into the U.S.—not limited to those from Germany, France, the U.K., and Spain. They affected wines from France, Spanish olive oil, Italian cheese, single-malt Irish and Scotch whiskies, and many other goods from across the continent. The result was a 25% tax, whose reverberations were felt across Europe and the U.S.

According to a statement released last Friday, President Biden and Ursula von Leyden, President of the European Commission, will initiate a four-month trial period in which they lift the tariffs. According to an official statement: “This will allow the E.U. and the U.S. to ease the burden on their industries and workers and focus efforts towards resolving these long running disputes at the WTO.”

The U.S. and the U.K. also announced they would lift the tariffs between the two countries for a period of four months. In both cases, the tariffs will be lifted as soon as an agreement is ironed out between the two parties.

Though it might take a while for the effects of the lifted tariff to be felt, keep an eye out in your local wine shop: Those European reds could soon be a lot cheaper than you’re used to.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I believe the US tariffs involved European subsidies of aircraft manufacturing (Airbus), not airlines. ”
— Greg W.

Have your consumer habits been impacted by the tariffs on European goods? What will you buy first when they're lifted? Let us know in the comments.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Meredith March 12, 2021
The title got me so excited but I don't live in the US...tragic
Greg W. March 12, 2021
I believe the US tariffs involved European subsidies of aircraft manufacturing (Airbus), not airlines.
oKa March 11, 2021
This is great news. I am hoping for olive oil and other great products.
Any start dates available?
oKa March 11, 2021
Started March 4?