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Your Chicken Parm (and other favorite European dishes) may just get a bit more pricey if the US has anything to do with it, starting maybe on October 14th – meaning next Monday. If you haven’t heard, the US and EU have been fighting over planes for the past few years (ok it’s been 15), and now things may affect a lot more people than just international travelers. To sum up what I’m sure is a much more complicated issue, the US didn’t like some EU governments giving public aid to Airbus, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) is allowing them to put a 10% tax on aircraft products, and also ” a 25% tax on EU products such as olive oil, wine, cheeses, fruits or sausages.” The EU retaliated, pointing out that the US Government gave subsidies to Boeing, and now they’ll also receive the right to put additional tariffs on US products, and then we’re all basically screwed.

The EU farmers are freaking out, which means the rest of the population is right along with them. We have less than a week and the officials have one more chance to propose some way to fix this. The Italian political TV show, Le Iene, known for being where they’re not supposed to be, had journalist Alice Martinelli barge into a meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo with a peace offering of some Parmigiano Reggiano, and telling him “it’s something our farmers make with the heart every day, so we hope you can help us and take it to Trump.” That is Italy, and these farmers don’t make these products to get rich, that’s the middlemen, yet the ones getting their hands dirty would be the ones hit hardest, all for planes. It makes no sense.

At that point, Conte broke in and had her escorted out of the room, but still, the Italian in him leaked out from under all that political correctness when he pointed back at the cheese that had been taken off-camera and admitted, with confidence, “That’s a good one. I promise.” If these tariffs go through, I think about what will happen to the farmers we met down the street from the Tower House, or the ones from Bagolino, or the olive groves all throughout the country that I’ve walked through. And I think about what in the world the US would do without European food products at normal prices.

I hope it’s just a scare tactic, but time is running out, and if your olive oil, or cheese supplies are getting low, I may start stocking some up if you want to make it through the holidays.

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