In all our concerns over the U.S.-China trade war, we may have overlooked another front of the Trump administration’s trade wars: delicious European cheeses.
According to New York Magazine’s Grub Street: “The Trump administration has proposed a battery of tariffs on imports from the European Union. Earlier this summer, the list was expanded to include products like Scotch whiskey and olive oil. The category that would really be hurt is cheese, with a nearly 100 percent tariff on most types of European cheese.”
That means a hunk of Gruyere, Parm, manchego or Gouda that typically costs around $10 at places like Whole Foods could jump up to $20 this fall.
And while our rudimentary understanding of economics might tell us driving up the price of imported European cheeses will help American cheesemakers turn a better profit, that might not be the case.
As Grub Street reports, good-quality American cheese—the kind you’d want to put on a charcuterie board, not a ham sandwich—is often more expensive to produce and thus, already has a higher price tag on the cheese aisle. On top of that, the United States just doesn’t have the production capacity to match the E.U. in terms of output.
So does this mean we might see a cheese shortage come holiday season? It’s hard to tell, and most news reports say Trump’s threat to the E.U. is just that at the moment—a threat. Economic experts are assuming the administration’s focus on China might keep a U.S.-E.U. trade war from getting as intense.
For the sake of good cheese, we’re hoping that’s true. Read on for the full story.
And in the meantime, catch us exploring the range of small-batch cheeses at local spots like 3Tails Wine and Cheese.