In response to tariffs on Chinese products ordered by President Donald Trump last week, China has just announced plans to add a 15% tariff on US wine.
As one of the largest exporters of Californian wine, China purchased about US$79 million worth of US wine last year. With existing duties and tariffs that already make US wine expensive, an additional 15% could really put a dent in sales.
China’s thirst for imported wine has increased two and a half times in the past five years, a trend the US was hoping would continue to deliver dividends. “It’s a burgeoning market that we had been hoping to make great strides in growing forward”, said Michael Honig, president of Honig Vineyard & Winery and past chairman of the Napa Valley Vintners Association. A 15 per cent tariff is going to make that goal very difficult,” he said. “It will have a big impact on our ability to sell and be competitive.”