Loosen Bros. USA News

The latest stories from the Loosen Bros. USA team.

Saying “No!” to Tariff 2.0

By Kirk Wille, Vice President, Loosen Bros. USA



As a small U.S. wine import company, we are already grappling with the needlessly destructive and disruptive effects of the 25% tariff on European wines that was unleashed by the current administration last October 18.

Although the tariff on wine and other agricultural products has nothing to do with the civil aircraft dispute at the heart of this trade war, we have had to accept it, going to great effort and cost to mitigate the effects of the tariff in order to minimize the unavoidable price increases for consumers.

This is not a sustainable business model for us, or anyone in the wine industry, but we thought we had found a way to survive the tariff through 2020.

Now comes the threat of Tariff 2.0, under which wines from all EU countries are at risk of tariffs up to 100%.

In this catastrophic scenario, our merely “unsustainable” temporary solution would be rendered insufficient and ineffectual. There would be no choice but to see prices rise significantly, which would have a disastrously negative effect on the position of European wines in the U.S. market for many years to come.

We represent a singular group of highly regarded growers in Germany and France who have put their whole lives into tending their land and producing distinctive, uniquely expressive wines. To be forced out of the U.S. market by this unrelated trade dispute is as unfair to them as it is to the American wine lovers who seek them out.

We urge you to get involved, on behalf of everyone who has dedicated themselves to making a living in the wine trade — producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs — as well as the journalists who keep us informed, and the wine-loving public for whose pleasure the wine trade exists.

To learn more, see these resources:

Wine Searcher article from Dec. 11

Wine Spectator article from Dec. 13

James Suckling article from Dec. 17

Alice Feiring’s “The Feiring Line” newsletter

Website of the National Association of Wine Retailers

Please make yourself heard by January 13!

Post a comment on the government’s web page for Docket USTR-2019-0003-2518.

More than 15,000 comments have already been posted, directly appealing to the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer.

Alice Feiring’s newsletter article (see above) contains suggested text for this that you can use or adapt. The comment period ends on Jan. 13, 2020.

Contact your U.S. Senators

Contact your U.S. Representative

Our thanks to everyone who is able to join us in this struggle against an ill-conceived approach to trade negotiations.

Naturally, we all hope that this trade dispute will end sometime soon, but, given the personal animosities among the lead players, a speedy resolution seems unlikely. Nevertheless, we will endeavor to persevere so that the flow of inimitable German Rieslings into the U.S. will continue.

As the Germans themselves like to say, “Immer weiter!”, which loosely translates as “Keep on truckin!”


Don't Miss Out!

Be the first to know when your favorite winemaker comes to town. Sign up to learn about awards, events, vintages and more.

Are you of legal drinking
age in your country?

You must be of legal drinking age to enter this site.