But unfortunately, there’s a chance that our wine and cheese nights might be getting very pricey, very soon.
The Trump administration is currently considering adding tariffs to a bunch of items shipped over from the European Union — including most foreign cheeses, according to Modern Farmer. That means the cost of popular cheeses such as Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano and Dutch gouda would skyrocket, becoming up to twice as expensive. The tariffs, which are intended to punish the E.U., could be as high as 100%. They are set to go into effect this fall.
While our wallets would certainly feel these costs, Modern Farmer reports that small- and medium-sized specialty food businesses in the U.S. are the most at risk from the tariffs. Products like cheese expire easily, and they already don’t come cheap. Cost-conscious customers could opt to buy items at massive chain grocery stores such as Whole Foods, which, being owned by Amazon, can afford to have sales take a bigger hit than independent shops would.
According to the Specialty Food Association, about 90% of European cheeses would be affected by the tariffs. European cheeses are not an insignificant part of the American cheese market, making up over half of the country’s annual cheese sales and raking in about $2 billion.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative says the potential new tariffs are in response to an ongoing dispute between Boeing, an American-based aerospace company, and the E.U.-based Airbus. Cheese, while not directly involved, would be a casualty of this disagreement, and it would not be the only product affected — foods such as pasta, prosciutto, coffee, fruits, and Scotch whiskey are among the goods listed in this proposed tariff package.
However, there is a chance to make your opinion on the matter known before any action is actually taken. The USTR is soliciting public comments through Monday, August 12, at midnight. Cheese lovers can head over to regulations.gov to check out more details and leave feedback on the tariff plan.