June 7, 2023

Trade War Impacts Popular U.S. Wines

on Feb 19, 2023

Huge 25 per cent levy threatens to topple tipples such as Blossom Hill and Gallo Family as Boris Johnson's government plans will see millions of bottles not reach the U.K.

A tariffs trade war between Britain and the US could see millions of bottles of American wines vanish from supermarket shelves.

Old favourites including Blossom Hill and Gallo Family could disappear as the British Government plans to impose a 25% trade tariff on all wine imports from across the Atlantic.

Stats show that one in 10 bottles sold in the UK is from the US, including popular labels from California wine country.

Last year, more than 100 million bottles were sold in the United Kingdom. Industry experts say the strict tariffs will either see wines vanish or increased costs passed on to customers.

Ed Baker, managing director of Kingsland Drinks, said: “Wine drinkers are already disproportionally disadvantaged compared to some of their alcoholic counterparts when it comes to custom tariffs.

Popular tipples like Blossom Hill could disappear from our shelves

"Adding a 25% tariff on US wines will continue to unfairly penalise these consumers.

“It is time that the Government ensures that wine is treated fairly when it comes to tax.

"It is likely if the Government introduces this tariff, it will make these popular US wines unfeasible in the UK.

Gallo is another favourite that could disappear from British shelves.

"Simply put, they will disappear from supermarket shelves and pubs.”

Trade Secretary Liz Truss is considering the tariff on US wine imports as part of an ongoing trade conflict which began under the Trump administration. In 2018 the then president slapped a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on aluminium.

But politics could yet save the day for British wine lovers – if a tariff truce can be agreed.

The Government’s stance will put pressure on key figures in the Biden administration, particularly key Democrats such as Vice President Kamala Harris and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who have wine producers in their states.

Industry body Wine Drinkers UK says 32% of households drink American wine, with 40% of drinkers under 44 preferring US brands – including Zinfandel and Grenache Rose.

A YouGov survey conducted for WDUK found 32% of adults say wine is their favourite tipple, beating beer and spirits, both on 25%. However, since 2010, duty on wine is up 39% compared to 16% on beer and 27% on cider and spirits.