US duty increase is 'economic bomb' for armagnac, says BNIA president

The latest duty increase from US authorities on French wine and spirits is “a real economic bomb” for the armagnac industry according to Patrick Farbos, president of BNI Armagnac.

On 30 December 2020 the US expanded its list of products subject to additional duties of 25%, coming into effect from 12 January 2021, which includes armagnac.

Farbos said: “Our Armagnac operators, flagships of the armagnac appellation in France and around the world, are in danger. The American market is historically our first export market, along with China, with a great proportion of vintage armagnacs sold on this market.

“The operators are intrinsically linked with the US in cordial trade relations forged over a long time. This announcement will destroy our industry. The conditions of application of this new sanction directly concern our valued armagnacs on this market and will impact the premium armagnac market, vintages in particular.

“The US is a market that allows our armagnac operators to hold out during this international crisis (Covid-19). I solemnly appeal to Emmanuel Macron. The situation is serious for the oldest eau-de-vie and numerous companies in the Landes, Gers and Lot-et-Garonne who market and promote it.”