Brussels, 5 March 2021. EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines (www.efow.eu), welcomes the announcement by President von der Leyen, and the USTR office to suspend for an initial period of four months the retaliatory tariffs affecting the EU wine sector while seeking a definitive solution to the Airbus-Boeing dispute.
The USA are by far the leading export market for EU wines in terms of volume and value and remain a trend setter for our sector. The 25% ad valorem US additional punitive tariffs imposed on EU wines have already resulted in a 54% decline in exports of the targeted wines in a difficult COVID-19 context. President von der Leyen announcement gives new breath to the EU GI wine sector which is a collateral victim of a dispute in which it has no part.
For months, the European Commission has been trying to negotiate a solution with the strong support of the European Parliament which had called for support to the sectors unduly affected. Recently, a coalition of 60 MEPs led by French MEP Irène Tolleret sent a letter to the European Commission asking for specific financial support measures. On 14 January, the Chair of the Agriculture Committee, German MEP Norbert Lins took over a proposal from Italian MEP Paolo De Castro to mobilise the EC at the highest level to offer a moratorium. All these efforts have paid off.
EFOW President, Mr Bernard Farges, states: “We can only applaud the work and dedication of the European Commission in seeking a moratorium of these retaliatory tariffs. We strongly hope that a solution will be found rapidly to put a definitive end to the dispute and the imposition of these punitive tariffs. We wish the negotiators much endeavour and thank MEPs for their constant support this past year”.