Despair in Burgundy and beyond, as U.S. tariffs hit EU goods

Associated Press

Paris – French vintners are begging for government aid. Italian farmers are scrambling for new export markets. And American shoppers are about to face supermarket sticker shock on European products.

Some $7.5 million in U.S. tariffs on European food, wine and other goods took effect Friday, in response to illegal EU subsidies to planemaker Airbus.

European producers of premium specialty agricultural products like French wine, are facing a U.S. tariff hike on Friday, with dollars 7.5 billion duties on a range of European goods approved by the World Trade Organization for illegal EU subsidies to aviation giant Airbus.

The U.S. is also accused of illegal subsidies – to Boeing – and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom threatened Friday to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. She urged negotiations instead of a trade war.

French wine exporters group FEVS asked for government aid to compensate for an expected drop in sales. The U.S. is the No. 1 market for French wine exports.

Italy’s main farm lobby forecast a 20% drop in sales of Italian agricultural products including Parmesan and Gorgonzola cheeses and cured meats.