Trade war with US could mean pubs face wine supply issues

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Warning issued: US wine could disappear from UK pubs (image: Getty/franckreporter)
Warning issued: US wine could disappear from UK pubs (image: Getty/franckreporter)

Related tags: Wine, Pub

Pubs could be facing wine supply issues if a 25% tariff on all wine imports from the US is implemented, a leading wine group has warned.

According to Wine Drinkers UK (WDUK) a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers, trade secretary Liz Truss is considering introducing a 25% tariff on US wine imports as part of an ongoing trade conflict caused by Donald Trump imposing a 25% tariff on US steel imports in 2018. 

Wine from the US makes up around one in ten ​bottles sold in the UK market, including some of the industry’s best-selling rosés, the group said. 

Pressure

According to the WDUK, the UK Government believes tariffs on wine will put pressure on key Democratic politicians, such as vice president Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who have wine producers in their states.

“It is likely if the Government introduces this tariff, it will make these popular US wines unfeasible in the UK. Simply put, they will disappear from supermarket shelves and pubs,” said WDUK supporter Ed Baker, managing director at Kingsland Drinks.

“Wine drinkers are already disproportionally disadvantaged compared to some of their alcoholic counterparts when it comes to custom tariffs. Adding a 25% tariff on US wines will continue to unfairly penalise these consumers. It is time  the Government ensures wine is treated fairly when it comes to tax.”

Wine tax

A YouGov survey conducted for WDUK of just over 2,000 adults found that one in three (32%) of UK adults who drink alcohol say wine is their favourite alcoholic drink, beating beer (25%) and spirits (25%) into second and third place respectively. 

WDUK is a collection of wine lovers, makers and sellers, that are against wine being unfairly taxed. Its Cut Back Wine Tax​ campaign was launched to get a fairer deal for wine drinkers across the country. 

Its supporters include wine producers, bottlers, retailers, and enthusiasts, as well as representatives from the UK’s hospitality sector. 

Related topics: Wine

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