For restaurant week, Richard Todd caught up with James Beard Award winner & owner of Charleston’s FIG (Food Is Good) & The Ordinary, Chef Mike Lata. He along with dozens of other local restaurants in the Lowcountry & over 2000 businesses nationwide are supporting the Coalition to Stop Restaurant Tariffs.
America’s top trade official on Dec. 30 slapped a 25% tariff on some higher-alcohol European wines to complement a similar tariff on lower-alcohol European wines that took effect more than a year ago.
Certain wines from France and Germany may soon become a lot more expensive in the U.S., due to a 25% tariff that took effect Tuesday.
On December 30, the Trump administration announced it would add a 25% tariff to certain European wines. It’s an extension of the tariffs the government originally levied in 2019 and came after the European Union (E.U.) announced it would tax some U.S. goods in an escalating trade war.
While European wine and spirit products would be directly hit by the tariffs, U.S. groups are quick to point out the changes would also disrupt and negatively impact the U.S. hospitality industry as well as producers, wholesalers and importers of alcohol.
Like many U.S. wine importers, New York’s Vintus long ago placed orders for European wines to supply its retailers, restaurants, and hotels.
Last January, trying to divine the future in the blood-red wine dregs at the bottom of my glass, I wrote of oversupply and weak demand pressuring independent grape growers and small family wineries.
The French wine exporters federation on Thursday complained that additional US tariffs on French wines and cognac will cost the industry more than $1.2 billion.
Restaurants have tried virtually everything to survive the pandemic. They’ve increased outdoor seating and added plexiglass screens between tables to reassure diners. They’ve adopted no-contact ordering apps and ramped up takeout. And they’ve expanded delivery options.
But their balance sheets remain bleak. Even some of the most popular establishments haven’t made it.
One of our eagle-eyed readers reports seeing the sign and the interior of Hunan Palace Express, 2906 MacArthur Blvd., North Little Rock, “totally dark when I pass by around 6:15 each evening.”
[The 25% tariff on European goods] really is an extra nail in the coffin for small businesses…Everybody’s being hurt by this, and then you throw in a pandemic. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if half the restaurants close in the Northeast in the next six months if at least this isn’t reversed…Joe, get rid of these tariffs.
How to sum up the year 2020 for New Orleans restaurants and bars? The global pandemic kneecapped hospitality and tourism worldwide, with New Orleans surely leading the pack as Queen of the Krewe of Misery.