Trump's French wine tariffs are tough to swallow in New York

The war on wine is full-bodied and fruit-forward and as bold as the profile of your favorite Bordeaux and as complex as the best cabernet.

"Everyone loves French wine because of the quality, the taste of it. I personally love it as well but I can't sell it," said Hasan Senurt, a partner at Serena's Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

Word of President Donald Trump, an admitted non-drinker who also owns a winery in the United States, imposing import tariffs on wines out of the European Union has Senurt rethinking his menu.

"I'm going to have more California, American, Italian, some other wines from New Zealand and some other places," he said.

The tariffs of 25% were imposed in October 2019 as a direct response to tariffs on Airbus airliners. But that could soon spike to 100%. And that could be devastating for French restaurants, wine bars, wine distributors, and wine shops in New York and the rest of the United States.

Garnet Wines and Liquors on the Upper East Side is a big store with a laser-thin margin. Magh Patel, whose parents own the store, said some customers have complained that prices of French wines are higher.

And the tariffs also affect sparkling wine. A tariff of 100% has been proposed on sparkling wine, porcelain, cheeses, and handbags. When it comes to champagne, these tariffs are expected to hit the U.S. economy by 2%. That's $2 billion.

The U.S. is the largest export market for French wine. Some are questioning why the wine industry is paying the penalty for an issue with airliners or tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

"This not really just an issue between the French and the U.S.," Tom Prusa, an economics professor at Rutgers University, told FOX 5 NY. "This question about taxing digital trade is a very complicated problem."


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. It is FREE! Download for iOS or Android