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French Champagne makers fear impact of potential new U.S. duties

Paris - Taittinger, the famous Champagne house, is looking at whether it can ship bottles overseas before possible tariffs are put in place

Paris - French champagne producers and exporters decried a U.S. government threat to slap tariffs of up to 100% on a range of French products including sparkling wines, saying they have nothing to do with the dispute and calling for government help. The punitive duties announced on Monday follow France’s new digital services tax which Washington says will harm U.S. tech companies.

“We can understand the various positions but Champagne is not related to this. We fear we will bear the costs of a policy that is beyond us,” Taittinger Director General Damien le Sueur told Reuters.

The United States is Taittinger’s second largest export market. The famous Champagne house is looking at whether it can ship bottles overseas before possible tariffs are put in place, but Le Sueur said these stocks would not cover sales for the whole of 2020.

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