Eliminate Tariffs and Non-Tariff Barriers on the Global Wine Industry.
Wine is part of celebratory events around the world and has played a valuable historical role in bringing nations together. Wine is also a sustainable product and a major driver of global, regional and local economies. Because of the valuable contributions of wine, the Wine Origins Alliance asks global governments to eliminate all tariffs on wine and non-tariff barriers to trade in wine, including the lack of protection for wine region names.
Our members represent many of the world’s renowned wine regions. While we are competitors on the global market, we all agree that our domestic industries are best served by free and fair competition—not harmful tariffs that distort markets and other regulatory obstacles.
Tariffs are Hurtful to Wine.
Tariffs reduce wine exports.
U.S. wine exports to China fell nearly 25 percent in 2018 after import taxes and tariffs on American wine reached nearly 80 percent. In addition, wine is subject to an excise tax in approximately 73 percent of countries, and additional tariff payments reduce demand by driving up the cost of wine for consumers.
Significant disparities exist among tariff levels imposed by countries.
Over the past 30 years, the U.S. import tariff for wine has decreased from 31.5 cents to 6.3 cents per liter. However, certain markets charge much higher rates.
Table based on tariff rates for U.S. wine entering each country available on trade organization or national tariff databases; U.S. rate is base tariff rate for wines entering the U.S.; China rate is 2019 tariff rate, which includes the most-favored-nation (MFN) duty rate (14 percent) plus the 232 retaliation rate (15 percent) and Section 301 retaliation rate (25 percent).
Certain Non-Tariff Barriers Distort and Limit Trade in Wine.
Lack of effective protection for wine region names.
Despite clear consumer preferences, some countries, including the United States, permit geographic names on labels of wines that do not originate in those places. This makes it difficult for consumers to truly know the wine they purchase is in fact from the region they know. It also is harmful to winemakers all over the world; when a region name is misused, the credibility of the wine industry as a whole is diminished.
Other regulatory obstacles can create barriers to wine exports.
These barriers include government subsidies, labeling rules, safety warnings, and other barriers to entry. For example, discriminatory practices by provincial liquor boards in Canada have hindered access of U.S. and European wine in the market. Another example are regulations in South Africa requiring that wine labels rotate seven individual health warnings over a 36-month period just to enter the market.