Digital tax e nuovi dazi sul vino, arriva lo stop da FIVI e CEVI

FIVI invita il Governo a vigilare sui dazi Usa contro il vino italiano

“Il Governo deve vigilare affinché il vino italiano non rientri nei prodotti presi in considerazione per eventuali nuovi dazi Usa”. Lo chiedono i Vignaioli Indipendenti FIVI in una lettera spedita ai ministri Teresa Bellanova e Stefano Patuanelli per richiamare l’attenzione su una nuova minaccia proveniente dall’amministrazione Trump. Il governo americano ha infatti deciso di avviare un’indagine sulla cosiddetta digital tax, cioè sull’assoggettamento a tassazione delle attività di servizi digitali e sui governi che hanno deliberato di applicarla, tra cui la Commissione Europea e l’Italia. Come accaduto in passato nel caso della disputa Boeing/Airbus, gli Stati Uniti potrebbero decidere nuovamente di applicare dazi pesantissimi sui prodotti agroalimentari europei.

FIVI chiede che venga posticipata l’entrata in vigore della digital tax e che tale decisione venga presa insieme agli altri Paesi all’interno dell’OCSE (Organizzazione per la cooperazione e lo sviluppo economico) per evitare che prodotti italiani vengano tassati per rappresaglia.
Nel documento che dichiara l’avvio della nuova fase investigativa a partire dal mese di giugno 2020 non si fa ancora riferimento a quali prodotti potrebbero essere soggetti a nuovi dazi, ma il rischio che il vino italiano venga colpito è molto alto e concreto.

“In un quadro di commercio internazionale più ampio, crediamo che la strategia dei dazi e delle ritorsioni sia quanto di meno auspicabile per la ripresa dell’economia globale – dichiara Matilde Poggi, presidente FIVI – I Vignaioli Indipendenti italiani hanno come principali mercati di sbocco l’enoturismo e la ristorazione italiana ed estera, canali che sono rimasti chiusi per almeno tre mesi. Noi abbiamo continuato a lavorare nelle nostre aziende perché le vigne vanno coltivate, impiegando manodopera a fronte di incassi quasi azzerati. La difficoltà economica e finanziaria è grande e non possiamo permetterci l’imposizione di nuovi dazi che metterebbero a rischio le esportazioni verso gli USA, primo mercato estero per le nostre aziende”.

 

CEVI chiede alla Commissione Europea di evitare escalation nelle trattative su digital tax e dazi con i rappresentanti Usa 

Commissioner Phil Hogan
Directorate-General for Trade
European Commission
Rue de la Loi 170
1049 Brussels
Belgium

Paris, 17 June 2020

Re: US investigations on Digital Services Tax in the EU and US tariffs on wine

Dear Commissioner Hogan,
I would like to thank you for your answer to my previous letters, in which I was raising CEVI’s concerns regarding the tariffs imposed by the United States on European wine in certain Member States. Although I am still waiting for more concrete actions to help my sector, for instance with a dedicated EU compensation fund to preserve our interests in the US market.

As it is an ever-ending story, on 2 June the US launched several investigations under Section 301 of its Trade Act of 1974, focusing on several EU countries and the European Union itself about the implementation or potential adoption of new taxes on digital services. Those investigations could allow the US to impose new tariff-based retaliation on the grounds of alleged discrimination against US companies making substantial profit in the digital area in the EU.
CEVI represents the interests of the European Independent Winegrowers and we are very much concerned about the opening of US investigations that could possibly lead to new import tariffs on our products. Combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, this additional burden would clearly jeopardize our sector’s recovery in the long term.

Indeed, as already mentioned in my previous letter and as you well-know, European wine is a key strategic asset for EU exports, the US being one of our major market. In Italy, wine exports to the US have increased over 20% between 2015 and 2019 in value, to reach more than 1.5 billion euros in 2019. In France for the same period, those exports were up to 41% in value, reaching about 1.9 billion euros last year. At the same time, the EU was exporting for more than 3.9 billion euros of wine in the US, comforting its largely positive trade balance in this area.

However, this situation prevailed before the imposition of tariffs and the crisis our sector is now facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will be difficult to maintain such a positive trend with an additional burden. Furthermore, these encouraging figures are partly due to the third-countries promotion provided by the Common Organization of the Wine Market, and it would be a real waste of money and efforts if the financial support for this important market were to be negated by additional tariffs under this new US investigation.

Thus, based on consolidated data of a comparable wine country exporting to the US that is New Zealand, we can assume that US tariffs are a major cause of the significant drop in EU wine exports lately. Indeed, we identified a clear decrease of EU wine exports (in value) to the US of about -23% in February, -15% in March, and -32% in April compared with 2019. As regards New Zealand, wine exports to the US – they are not suffering from imposed tariffs and seem less affected by the COVID-19 crisis – have been increasing for the same period in value (+7% in February, stabilizing in March and +10% in April 2020).
I therefore kindly ask your services to bear in mind the interests of the EU wine sector and to avoid any new tariff escalation in the upcoming discussions with the US Trade Representative officials, with many European independent winegrower entrepreneurs depending on US exports to keep their business economically viable.

Thank you for your consideration and I remain at your disposal should you need any clarification regarding the information above.
Sincerely,

Thomas Montagne – President
European Confederation of Independent Winegrowers

 

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