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Tariffs on Wine, Whisky, and Cheese Provide Extra Fright This Halloween

Halloween parties are an annual tradition for many Americans. But this year Halloween may be a little spookier than usual as some popular party items could become more expensive.

On Friday, October 18, new 25% tariffs went into effect on many food and drink imports from the European Union (“EU”). These tariffs were first proposed by the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) back in April as part of an ongoing World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute surrounding civil aircraft subsidies granted by the EU.[1] This month, the WTO finally ruled on the matter, siding in favor of the United States over the EU. As a result, the United States has placed $7.5 million worth of tariffs on European goods.[2]
The proposed tariffs will affect a large amount of European food and drink items, including cheeses, jams, coffees, and wines. The impacted goods even include important ingredients for holiday treats such as butter and certain fruits. The USTR list of total products affected is quite extensive, including many more food items, as well as non-food items such as clothes.[3] These new tariffs could directly impact shoppers in the form of higher prices. With many holiday favorites included among the items slapped with tariffs, this year’s Halloween festivities may be a little extra scary.

If you are horrified by the news and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.

[1] Initiation of Investigation; Notice of Hearing and Request for Public Comments: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute, 84 Fed. Reg. 15,028 (Apr. 12, 2019), https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Preliminary_Product_List.pdf.

[2] Billy Perrigo, New Trump Tariffs Are About to Make Scotch Whiskey, French Wine, and Italian Cheeses More Expensive, TIME (Oct. 18, 2019), https://time.com/5704663/trump-tariffs-whiskey-wine-cheese-eu/.

[3] Notice of Determination and Action Pursuant to Section 301: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute, 84 Fed. Reg. 54,245 (Oct. 9, 2019), https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/301Investigations/Notice_of_Determination_and_Action_Pursuant_to_Section_301-Large_Civil_Aircraft_Dispute.pdf