California winemakers are bracing themselves as new tariffs from China could result in exponentially decreased export sales.
China will impose a 15 percent tax on imported products from the United States, including wine.
“The tariffs, in response to ones President Donald Trump ordered on Chinese products earlier on Thursday, could put a real dent in Wine Country revenue growth,” Lynn Doan writes in Bloomberg. “China’s thirst for imported wine has increased 2.5 times in the past five years.”
To get a sense of how devastating this could be for California winemakers, not to mention the U.S. economy, a quick numerical breakdown: U.S. wine imports totaled $1.53 billion in 2017, and 97 percent of those were from California.
In 2016, the California wine industry was responsible for more than 786,000 U.S. jobs, from wholesalers to farmers. It contributed $114 billion to the national economy.
China is a growing market for California wine, ranking fifth among top California export markets at $79 million annually. China’s 15 percent gain will undoubtedly be America’s loss.