US wine tariffs threaten UK market shape

The UK’s most popular wines could disappear from supermarket shelves and pubs after the government proposed a 25% tariff on all wine imports from the US.

Wine from the US makes up around 10% of bottles sold in the UK market, including best-selling rosés, with more than 100m bottles sold in supermarkets and off licences in 2020.

Trade secretary Liz Truss is reportedly considering a 25% tariff on US wine imports as part of an ongoing trade conflict caused by Donald Trump imposing a 25% tariff on US steel imports in 2018.

The UK Government believes tariffs on wine will put pressure on key democratic politicians, such as vice president Kamala Harris and speaker Nancy Pelosi, who have wine producers in their states.

Ed Baker, managing director, Kingsland Drinks, said: “It is likely if the government introduces this tariff, it will make these popular US wines unfeasible in the UK. Simply put, they will disappear from supermarket shelves and pubs.

“Wine drinkers are already disproportionally disadvantaged compared to some of their alcoholic counterparts when it comes to custom tariffs.

“Adding a 25% tariff on US wines will continue to unfairly penalise these consumers. It is time that the government ensures that wine is treated fairly when it comes to tax.”