Importers Scramble As Trump Eyes Large Tariffs On European Goods

Mike Sugerman
December 15, 2019 - 5:34 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Ready to spend more for European products? New Trump Administration tariffs set to go into effect have local businesses and consumers scrambling.

That news may have John Salinsky at the K & A Bar in Middle Village rethinking his scotch and soda.

“A shot of scotch—once they do it, it’s going to trickle down like a domino effect,” he told WCBS 880.

Over at the International Wine and Spirits Store, they say they may be switching to California chardonnay.

The tariffs about to be put into place against European products like scotch, Italian wines and French cheese could total 100 percent.

“That $30 bottle of scotch will be $60. That $20 bottle of wine will be $40. And more importantly, small importers will be out of business,” said line importer John Coyle, of the podcast Drinking on the Job.

The tariffs are Trump’s retaliation after the World Trade Organization ruled European countries’ subsidies for aircraft manufacturer Airbus were illegal.

Coyle says the industry is racing to get as much product shipped before the new tariffs go into effect.

“You’re standing at the dice table. You’re about to roll it and hope that your wine gets here before the tariff drops—because if it doesn’t, when it arrives in customs in the U.S., guess what? That $30,000 container now costs you $60,000,” Coyle said.

The tariffs could help some American businesses, but not those that deal with European products.