They dubbed it the US’ Brexit, in honour of the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union earlier in 2016. Whatever you want to call it, the Trumpening has triumphed and from January 20 2017, there’ll be a teetotaller in the White House.

The Donald does actually own a vineyard, though, so while he’s not likely to force abstinence upon his people, the country’s wine market is wondering how things will play out.

Initially Trump’s win caused a bit of a stir in global stock markets and on FOREX, but things have settled since. However, the US wine market is particularly interested in currency exchange rates because it’s an international business, especially where fine wine is concerned. If there’s any uncertainty, buyers of fine wines might be a bit more cautious than usual.

Wine as an alternative investment

This doesn’t seem to be the case, though, as it seems to be pretty much business as usual in trade and in the currency markets. One consequence of Trump’s win is that investors might start looking to wine, as well as other alternative assets, if there is market instability.

The US-EU trade dispute

Neither Trump nor Clinton liked the free-trade deal commonly known as TTIP. One of the many problems with TTIP was the dispute over legal protection for some wine names, like Champagne.

The EU exports almost $4 billion in wine to the US – six times the amount it imports from the US. The EU is looking for increased protection on wine names so it can capitalise on a huge wine market.

However, the Wine Institute has rejected these demands, as California Champagne has been sold legally in the US since 1857; all buyers have to do is check for the country of origin, it says! The institute also said that a 2006 trade deal already protects the names of Champagne and Port from the EU. There are no further developments expected here, not in the near future at any rate. So again, business as usual.

Foreign workers…

It doesn’t look like there’ll be a wall, or any mass deportations, so the immigrant workers who form the backbone of the US food and wine industry will almost certainly be staying put.

Chances are, a lot of Trump’s rhetoric was just that and as a businessman, he’ll want to see the wine industry continue to thrive.


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