China and the European Union are fighting fire with fire, but in their case it’s tariffs with tariffs.
China’s wine market may soon be flooded with more fake wines mimicking the E.U.’s styles, as China and the EU battle out the newest round of trade wars. Brussels announced last week that it was placing anti-dumping tariffs on $27 billion worth of Chinese solar panels. The EU believes that China exports solar panels to countries in the union at a price below the price charged in its home market as an attempt to monopolize the industry. Beijing retaliated, threatening to stop importing European wines. China’s official People’s Daily newspaper said, “China does not want a trade war, but trade protectionism cannot but bring about a counter-attack.”
China is one of the world’s most populous nations and one of the biggest wine consumers. It has seen a constant market of fake wines, particularly copying the more expensive wines, and the new ban on imported European wines could make fake wines even easier to find.
These actions are causes for concern for Chinese wine producers like Bruno Paumard, who is baffled by the imitators of fine imported wines, according to The New York Times. To people in China, the labels seem to be promising wine from French regions, but he can spot a fraud instantly. Labels show contradictory information, like a bottle stating it’s from Château Lafite-Rothschild in Montpellier; that prestigious domain is in Bordeaux, no where near Montpellier.
The article quotes Helen Nie, a Beijing housewife, who said, “More expensive wine is O.K. I just don’t want any fakes.” If this battle between China and the EU continues, the prices of wines enjoyed by Nie and others in China may grow significantly higher.