Trump may soon double the price Americans must pay for European products like wine, cheese, meats, pasta, and olive oil.
Families across the nation may soon face sticker shock when purchasing pasta or wine imported from Europe, CNN reported Saturday. The Trump administration is planning for a 100% tariff on $25 billion of European products, including wine, cheese, pasta, olives, olive oil, and meats.
An official with a food-importing company, Tom Gellert, told CNN, "100% duties would be really devastating. We're going to make these items so expensive and so unmarketable we won't import them anymore."
The new tariffs on products from the European Union would come on top of tariffs on Chinese goods, which will already cost the average household $1,000 next year.
Lou Di Palo, the owner of a 109-year-old specialty shop in New York City's Little Italy neighborhood, told CNN that the new tariffs could be "the straw that breaks the camel's back," forcing him to shut the doors of an establishment that survived both the Great Depression and 2008's Great Recession.
In August, a bipartisan group in Congress stepped in, trying to talk the Trump administration out of a massive new tax on olive oil.
Such a tariff "would cause significant domestic harm because there is no sufficient alternative supply of olive oil," Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said in a letter signed by 18 additional members of Congress. "The lack of alternative supply to European olive oil means that such tariffs would lead to extraordinary increases in the price of olive oil for consumers, food retailers, food manufacturers, restaurants, and many others."
Trump's latest salvo in his multifront trade wars are aimed at products loved by millions of Americans, but the underlying issue has nothing to do with olive oil or French wine or Italian cheese. Rather, the United States and Europe are engaged in a long-running feud over subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.
But the source of the dispute has not stopped Trump from targeting items Americans have come to enjoy. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admits that Trump's tariffs "amount to a tax increase, frankly, on working-class people," further noting a new tariff "drives up the cost of goods that you would be purchasing at Walmart and other places."
Trump's trade war with China is driving up the cost of shoes and toys, while previous tariffs forced Americans to pay more for washing machines and dryers. In retaliation for Trump's tariffs, China stopped buying American agricultural products, devastating farmers across the U.S. and causing farmers to file for bankruptcy at records rates.
The trade wars are already wreaking havoc on the economy, and rather than make it better, Trump plans on making it even harder on American consumers.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.