Trump participated in an interview with CNBC yesterday in which he threatened to impose tariffs on wine imported from the European Union.
To make the case for such tariffs, Trump told a tall tale that he almost certainly made up on the spot.
“So the wineries come to me and say, ’Sir’ -- the California guys, they come, ’Sir, we’re paying a lot of money to put our product into France, and you’re letting’ -- meaning, this country is allowing -- ‘these French wines, which are great wines, but we have great wines too -- allowing it to come in for nothing. It’s not fair.”’
“And you know what?” Trump added. “It’s not fair. We’ll do something about it."
If Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on someone or some thing, it must be a day that ends with Y -- but this is a unique case.
Wine imported from the European Union is already subjected to tariffs of 5 cents per bottle, so when Trump says we allow it to "come in for nothing," he's lying. The European Union's tariffs on American wine are slightly higher at 11 cents per bottle, but the burden of paying for it falls on European consumers, not Americans.
Ideally, neither state would impose tariffs on each other's products, but escalating tensions by increasing tariffs on European wine wouldn't diffuse the situation. The EU could retaliate by increasing tariffs on American wine.
That means more tariffs on Trump's own brand of wine.
He doesn't want that, right? Maybe he does if the goal is to increase domestic consumption by raising prices on foreign competitors.