Additional US tariffs to hit Italy’s wine, olive oil and pasta

Trump administration to impose duties on a new list of F&B products after sanctions issued in 2019

The list of European products and countries under attack from the additional tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump has been published. Two thirds of the value of Italy’s food and beverage exports – whose total value in the United States alone is about 3 billion euros – are soon to be affected. Tariffs should extend to wine, olive oil, and pasta as well as certain types of biscuits and coffee.

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Italian farmers association Coldiretti underlines the formalization on the US Department of Commerce (USTR) website of the start of the public consultation procedure for the review of the tariffs to be applied, and the list of European products to be affected by additional duties.


The decision of the US administration concerns the European support to Airbus. The USA has been authorized by the WTO to apply sanctions to the European Union countries, up to a maximum limit of 7.5 billion dollars. The WTO will soon express its opinion on the parallel dispute over US funding to Boeing, and should allow the EU to propose countermeasures.

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The USA administration now threatens to increase duties up to 100% and to extend them to other F&B products that are symbolic of Made in Italy. On October 18, 2019 tariffs of 25% have already entered into force, affecting Italian specialties such as cheeses Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, Grana Padano PDO, Gorgonzola PDO, Asiago PDO, Fontina PDO, Provolone PDO -, but also salami, mortadella, crustaceans, shellfishes, citrus fruits, fruit juices and spirits for a total value of half a billion euros.


In 2019 exports of Made in Italy food products to the USA amounted to 4.7 billion euros, with a further increase (+10%) in the first four months of 2020 despite the Covid-19 health emergency. Wine, whose exports are worth over 1.5 billion euros, is the most sold Italian product in the USA. Exports of olive oil reached 420 million and pasta’s 349 million.

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The United States is the world’s top consumer of wine, and Italy is its leading supplier. American consumers particularly appreciate Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco and Chianti which, unlike French wines, had escaped the first tariffs black list (October 2019). If 100% additional duties on Italian wine were to come into force the price of a bottle of Prosecco would go up from $10 to about $15, with a significant loss of competitiveness.

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