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French wine producers look with concern to Great Britain and the USA. The British withdrawal from the EU and the announcement by American President Donald Trump to increase import duties threaten to have a negative impact on French wine exports, the newspaper Le Figaro reports.

"The United Kingdom and the United States are our two most important export markets," Le Figaro quotes Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the national sectoral committee for wines with a protected designation of origin (CNIV). "If, as announced, the American president raises customs duties by 20 percent and Britain leaves the European Union, the impact on our business threatens to be severe" According to the report, the danger primarily affects wines in the lower and middle price segments; the export of premium wines such as Burgundy or champagne is at least initially less endangered or not at all. "The devaluation of the British pound by around 20 per cent following the pro-brexite vote was a severe blow to our sales across the English Channel," Thomas Montagne, President of the Committee of Independent Wine Producers of France, told Le Figaro. "The automatic increase in the price of our wines has led to a drop in orders, especially in the middle segment."

Meanwhile, according to the online magazine wein.com, British trade organisations are demanding tax cuts from the government. The UK is the world's second largest importer of wine and gets half of its imported wines from EU countries. Especially in the low and medium market segment, price increases would have a negative impact on sales, writes wein.com. "We want to prevent production and trade flows from being affected by the brexite. Europe's winegrowers must not have to overcome obstacles when selling their products," the magazine quotes Simon Stannard, director of European affairs at the British Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA). The association argues "for duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market," according to wein.com.

(CS / lefigaro.fr / magazin.wein.com; Picture: 123RF / Aleksandrs Tihonovs)

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