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Tariff proposal could increase prices on specialty items by double

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Posted at 7:26 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 11:32:08-04

BOZEMAN — Tariffs. Not a word you hear everyday. But it is a small word that can have a huge impact on your life.

“This is having an impact, and it’s not such a great thing that we’re increasing the price on consumers. So, to see these prices go up especially right now is something we can say hey no. Just speak up and have our voices heard,” explained Jeremiah Dawson, the owner of Vino Per Tutti.

The U.S. Trade Representative Office just announced possible new tariffs or taxes to as many as 30 products imported from Europe, including: wine, olives, meats, cheeses, even whey protein all because of a dispute involving aircrafts.

“So, I get this whole Boeing Airbus dispute, but I don’t think wine should be a part of it. The 25 percent we’re seeing now is enough. The 100 percent would just be disastrous,” Dawson said.

But it is important to note, these are proposed tariffs and not set in stone just yet.

“Last year, they proposed really excessive tariffs. We were lucky enough that a lot of those didn’t come through to the level proposed. I just think if we add undo stress and undo worry, it’s not good for any of us,” explained Brie Thompson, co-owner of Mavens Market.

And to help consumers out if they do increase tariffs, this business has a plan.

“The last thing we want to do is go and increase our prices by 30 percent because that’s going to make purchases out of a lot of people’s ballpark. So, we do have a really great American cheese section, as well. Those ones obviously didn’t see the tariffs, and then we do try to absorb the costs on the European, like our core favorites,” Thompson said.

But something you can do as a consumer is join in on the conversation.

“If we can talk to our representatives and the US Trade Office. There should be public comment coming up on the proposed increase on the tariffs. So, if we can let our voices be heard,” Dawson urged.

The US Trade Office will begin accepting public comments electronically starting Friday, June 26. For issues with online submissions, please contact the USTR Section 301 line at (202) 395–5725.