By Yuka Hayashi 

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said it will target more French and German wine and spirits with 25% tariffs starting Jan. 12, in the latest escalation in a tit-for-tat tariff fight related to a longstanding dispute over commercial-jetliner subsidies.

Among the new levies, the U.S. will for the first time apply the 25% levies on wines from France and Germany that exceed 14% alcohol, which had previously been exempted, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The U.S. had seen a surge in these higher-alcohol wines, typically from Spain and France, after wines with 14% alcohol or less were hit with tariffs in October 2019.

"With particularly what's happening in light of the pandemic, with restaurants closures and distillery closures, this just is not the right time to be hitting an industry that's already dealing with the economic impact," said Christine LoCascio, chief of public policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.

The U.S. imposed 25% tariffs on wine from France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. in October 2019 in retaliation for subsidies they made to the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE, arguing they hurt Boeing Co.

(More to Come)

Write to Yuka Hayashi at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 31, 2020 16:56 ET (21:56 GMT)

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