Burgundy hopes gift bottles will win over Biden on ‘Trump tariffs’

A French official in Burgundy said Thursday that she has sent US President Joe Biden two of the region’s finest bottles to encourage him to lift wine import tariffs imposed by Donald Trump over a trans-Atlantic trade dispute.

Marie-Guite Dufay, president of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region,  also invited Biden to take part in the prestigious Hospices de Beaune wine auction in November, though she might not be aware that the new US president has been a teetotaller for years.

“The United States is the biggest export market for Burgundy wines, and already we have lost more than 33 million euros in sales” ($40 million) because of the “Trump tariffs,” Dufay wrote in a letter accompanying the gift, according to a statement.

She posted on Twitter a photo of the bottles — a white 2017 Chardonnay and a Cote de Beaune red.

Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on European wines, cheeses and other specialities in 2019 over state subsidies for the planemaker Airbus, prompting retaliatory tariffs from the EU.

In December, he expanded the import duties to more wines as well as cognac, but he did not follow through on his threat for tariffs on champagne imports in response to France’s new digital tax on technology giants.

“This ‘lose-lose’ conflict must lead to a positive outcome in order to make it easier for American consumers to find wines from Burgundy and the Jura,” Dufay wrote, referring to another famous wine appellation in her region.

“It is therefore necessary to resume talks with the European Union to re-establish balanced and calm relations,” she said.