Trump slaps extra tariffs on Italian cheese - but not wine

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Trump slaps extra tariffs on Italian cheese - but not wine
Pecorino Romano cheese is among the varieties hit by US tariffs. Photo: Depositphotos.

Some of the most popular Italian cheeses are set to get a lot more expensive for US shoppers as American authorities today announced extra tariffs of 25 percent.


Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano and provolone cheeses were on the long list of tariffs slapped on European products by President Trump as the US battle with the EU over aircraft subsidies rolls on.

READ ALSO: How Trump's tariffs are threatening Italy's Parmesan cheese makers

Washington announced a 10 percent tariff on large civil aircraft imported from the four European partners of Airbus - Germany, France, Spain and the UK - after Wednesday's World Trade Organization (WTO) decision that ruled the company received undue subsidies.

The list released by the US trade representative today includes more than 150 products, mainly from those four nations but also across Europe, that will face a 25 percent tariff from October 18th.

The tariff will push up the price of authentic parmesan cheese up from around 40 US dollars a kilo to over 45 dollars, the Parmigiano Reggiano consortium said.

READ ALSO: 'Don't kill Italian food': Protesters urge Pompeo to stop US tariffs

The list includes all cheeses made with cows' milk, as well as pecorino, which is made with sheeps' milk. This means Mozzarella di Bufala is exempt.

There was some relief among Italian farmers, as well as food and wine lovers in the US, that Italy's wines, cured meats and olive oils have been spared from the tariffs.

While Italian wines are exempt, Italian liquers, including all aperitvi and digestivi, will be hit by the tariff.

It had been feared that extra charges would be applied to a wider range of Italian produce – especially olive oil and prosecco, for which the US is Italy's biggest export market.

The list also refers to "prepared or preserved pork hams", but the director of the consortium for San Daniele prosciutto told Italy's Ansa news agency that this does not include cured meats, meaning Italian cold cuts won't be hit either.

Cheeses from across Europe, including stilton, cheddar, and all blue-veined cheese but Roquefort - which is specifically exempted - will be taxed under the new rules.

The Trump administration intends to hit French, Spanish and German wines - exempting Hungarian Tokay - as well as the UK's Irish and Scottish single-malt whiskies with the tariffs.

"Made in England" cashmere, woolen anoraks and bed linen from the UK will have the 25 percent surcharge added, while Germany's exports of industrial tools will be similarly affected.

READ ALSO: The world is eating more Italian cheese than ever before



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