European wine intended for the US market is being diverted to the Chinese market due to wine tariffs imposed by the US government, according to wine trade groups in the US.

Two wine trade bodies in the US, the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) and the US Wine Trade Alliance stated that the existing tariff of 25% on the European wine is neither practical nor efficient.

The trade organisations feel that the tariffs are causing more damage to the American owned businesses than European businesses.

US Wine Trade Alliance official Harry Root said: “China is a ready and willing customer for European wines not sold to American importers. New numbers from the Global Trade Atlas verify that the 25% tariffs are already speeding the growth of the Chinese market.

“While case sales of wine from France to the US plummeted by 48% during the first month of 25% tariffs, exports from France to China grew by 35%. China’s purchases of French wines were 118% higher than the US in November.”

Although French wine exports to the US market were significantly down, the overall exports of French wine exports registered a growth after the tariffs, indicating that the charges imposed on the French wine by the US to punish France was ineffective.

Root added: “The transfer of a healthy, thriving industry to our biggest trade adversary is too great a price to pay for ineffective trade action.

“Future action should target products that will effectively apply pressure to the EU to stop the Airbus subsidies and not disproportionately harm American business.”

Trade bodies also fear that the US government may increase tariffs from 25% to 100% to stem from a dispute over subsidies the EU provides to Airbus.