New tariffs on imports from Europe might make you reevaluate your next wine and cheese party.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced 10% and 25% tariffs on various European goods, to take effect on October 18. While the 10% tariff is being imposed on new airplanes and will mostly be a pain point for U.S. companies like Delta, the imports affected by the 25% tariff reads like the average American consumer’s cold-weather wish list.
French wine, Irish and Scotch whiskies, sweaters, blankets and waistcoats from the UK, coffee and waffles from Germany, and cheeses and fruits from dozens of European countries will all be subjected to new tariffs — which generally correlate to price increases on consumers. Other items on the eight-pager include camera parts, tools, olives, clams and mussels… and the list quite literally goes on and on.
It's hard to say exactly how much the price you pay in U.S. stores for such imports will rise after the tariffs take effect. But for an idea of how much prices will increase, we can look at how previously implemented tariffs (or threats of tariffs) have correlated to price hikes on American consumers.
In August, toy manufacturers were sweating over a tweet from President Donald Trump, in which he threatened to impose a 10% tariff on millions of Chinese goods. The Washington Post cited a report from the Trade Partnership, stating that a 10% tariff would raise the price of toys by 17%, without the added expenses that come with a holiday rush. If the tariff went through, the study said, Americans would pay an annual $3.7 billion more on toys alone.
A separate study, published in April, showed that the Trump administration's tariffs on washing machines has translated to a 12% increase in the prices paid by U.S. shoppers.
The announcement on Wednesday states that the final “definitive product coverage” will be published in an upcoming Federal Register notice. But make no mistake — it’s targeted at European countries.
"The tariffs will be applied to a range of imports from EU Member States, with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom," said the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative following the ruling that led to this decision.
The new tariffs come after World Trade Organization ruled that the European Union was giving aircraft manufacturer Airbus an unfair advantage over its American competitor Boeing by providing “massive subsidies.” They said it cost American aerospace companies hundreds of billions of dollars in the last 15 years. And so the punishment comes in the form of an annual $7.5 billion — the largest award in WTO history by nearly two times the runner up — to be paid via tariffs on European goods as the U.S. saw fit.
The U.S. also has the authority to increase or change the products affected at any time, according to the ruling. To be sure that you aren't personally paying for the tariffs, in the form of higher-priced imports, it's best to stock up on your cheeseboard items before the tariffs are implemented. And if it's too late to do that, you could always pack your bags and take that Eurotrip you always dreamed of.