US President Donald Trump hinted on Monday that he wants higher tariffs on US imports of French wine, insisting that the current system was unfair.
Trump said he would work to open the European market, again accusing France of creating unfair trade barriers to US wine exports.
“France charges us a lot for the wine and yet we charge them very little for French wine,” Trump said on CNBC television.
US producers complain that French wines get to American shelves “for nothing,” he said, adding “it’s not fair and we’ll do something about it.”
Although Trump does not drink alcohol, he observed that French wines are said to be “very good” but declared “we have great wine, too.”
European Union import duties on wine are higher than US tariffs on European wines, including those from France, but EU consumers buy less of the American product.
France is a major wine producer but as part of the 28-member block does not set its own trade policy or tariffs.
In 2018, French exports of wine and spirits to the United States grew 4.6 percent to 3.2 billion euros, according to industry data, making the United States the most valuable market for French exports.