Tariffs on Wine, Food From Europe to Stay for Now, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration says it won’t be ending tariffs on imported European wine, cheese and other food imports any time soon—to the dismay of industry groups who say the levies are hurting U.S. restaurants and consumers.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Friday it was unnecessary for now to suspend the levies, which were imposed by the Trump administration as part of a longstanding dispute with the European Union over commercial aircraft subsidies.

In a regulatory filing, the USTR said it would “continue to consider the action taken in the investigation,” referring to a 17-year-old dispute over how governments subsidize Boeing Co. and Airbus SE .  The Biden administration has said it is reviewing the tariffs and other major trade policy actions adopted by the previous administration.

Under the Trump administration, the dispute turned into a tariff fight that snared food and beverage industries unrelated to aircraft manufacturing. Washington imposed tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European wine and food items like cheese and olives in late 2019.

The European Union hit back with levies on U.S. whiskey, nuts and tobacco valued around $4.5 billion. The U.S. stepped up the sanctions on Dec. 31 with additional tariffs, placing virtually all wine imports from France and Germany under its 25% tariff.

Read MoreTariffs on Wine, Food From Europe to Stay for Now, U.S. Says