Wine tariffs are uncorking concerns
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) -- At Tavolo Wine Bar, the glass is half-empty amid concerns Trump's new proposed wine tariff could uncork a host of problems.
"Everyone's going to feel the pinch," said Tavolo Co-owner Leonard Mello. "It's going to have an impact on our bottom line, which as a business you can absorb for so long before you have to pass on to the consumers."
One costumer here says he doesn't like the tariffs but might be willing to pay more for his favorite wine.
"I'm not sure as a consumer if it's going to discourage me from buying something I really like," said Bruce Birch of Cranston.
Yet Mello is concerned most customers will be discouraged, and that it will cost local residents jobs.
"It seems like a global issue, but it's a very local issue," he said. "We have wineries and distributors right here in Rhode Island. It's going to impact us, and it's going to impact our jobs."
Local distributors say it will end up harming Americans.
"There's this idea that this will be a protectionist measure that will benefit US wineries," said Kat Cummings of Wine Wizards. However, I don't think that will be the case."
She says importers are likely to pull many wines from the US market.
"Most of the importers with whom we work, it's too much of a risk to assume that people would pay twice the amount," Cummings said.
And she says an even bigger concern is the jobs in American industries like shipping and trucking.
"We'll be left with a totally changed landscape in terms of what's available to consumers," Cummings said. "And many, many people in the US will be left without jobs."
The tariff is currently under review. The US Trade Representative makes the ultimate decision, and is accepting public comments through Monday.