From France to Italy, from Spanish olives to Scottish whiskey, the collateral victims of the Airbus-Boeing war

The WTO on Wednesday authorized the United States to impose taxes of 7.5 billion dollars to punish the EU for illegally subsidizing the European aircraft manufacturer. But the list of products concerned goes far beyond the aeronautical sector.

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Barrels of whiskey in a Glasgow distillery in 2016. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

Collateral victims of the conflict between aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, the sectors concerned by possible US surcharges blame. The WTO authorized Wednesday, October 2, the United States to impose tariffs of 7.5 billion dollars (6.8 billion euros) on European products to punish the European Union for illegally subsidizing Airbus . That same evening, the US Department of Commerce published an eight-page list of a myriad of products that could be taxed at 25% – the planes would be 10% – from October 18th. According to Euler Hermes, France would be the most affected country, with annual losses estimated at 2.4 billion euros.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The United States will tax imports from four EU countries that illegally helped Airbus
  • France on the front line

"We are not concerned by the aeronautical dispute between Europe and the United States. We are being held hostage ", lamented Antoine Leccia, president of the Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS), following the announcement made by the United States to want to tax 25% French wines. A blow to the wine industry whose exports to the Atlantic weigh a billion euros with 14 million cases passed. A figure still up 10% in the first half of 2019.

The shock concerns many viticultural regions, Bordeaux leading (280 million euros of export in the United States) followed by Burgundy and Beaujolais (250 million) then come the rosés of Provence (140 million) and the wines of the Languedoc (100 million). Mr. Leccia estimates that the decline in sales could reach 50% for bottles of wine sold for less than $ 15, the market segment the most fought. Untaxed Italian wines, but also Australian or Chilean wines should benefit.

Mr Leccia fears that winemakers seeking to maintain their market share will be forced to lower their prices, which would undermine the profitability of their businesses. This one billion euros of export is, indeed, the fruit of a kyrielle of French actors, vine growers themselves, small houses of trade, cooperatives … With the risk of weakening the regional tissues. FEVS therefore asks the French and European authorities to find a negotiated solution. Especially Brexit and the situation in Hong Kong also worry the wine industry.


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