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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wine industry descended on Capitol Hill this week in a last-ditch attempt to avert 100% tariffs on all EU wines — as well as cheeses, cosmetics and other consumer products.

Why it matters: The U.S. has declared its intention to impose these tariffs as retaliation against the way that European nations illegally subsidized Airbus. But if they go into effect, the brunt of the pain will be borne not by European companies, but by Americans.

How it works: European winemakers can sell their product anywhere in the world. American wine importers, distributors and retailers, by contrast, can only source European wine from Europe.

  • Zev Rovine, a natural-wine importer, tells Axios that the 100% tariff would cover 80% of his sales. The overwhelming majority of his wines would simply become unbuyable at those prices.
  • "I work with small producers of natural wine that are very popular in Copenhagen and Tokyo," he says. Those producers would just sell their product elsewhere — but Rovine could easily find himself out of business.
  • The real risk here is less that European wines will increase in price, and more that they will simply disappear from liquor store shelves and restaurant wine lists.

What they're saying: "We are fighting not just to be able to drink European wine; we are fighting for our livelihoods and for our hundreds of thousands of employees," writes another wine importer, Jenny Lefcourt, in the New York Times.

  • Even American winemakers oppose these tariffs. Jason Haas, the general manager of Tablas Creek Vineyard in California, told the NYT's Eric Asimov that he relies on the same distributors who import European wines. "The short-term impact is likely to be pretty serious and pretty negative," he said.

The bottom line: It can take decades to cultivate transatlantic relationships with European winemakers. If the Trump administration severs those ties, no one knows when or whether they might grow back.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.