June 6 - French vineyards have expressed alarm after China announced an investigation into European wine exports. As the first EU tariffs on Chinese solar panels come into force Joel Flynn asks whether the trade war could escalate into an issue for the G8 nations later this month.
The Arbeau vineyard in the Fronton region of France isn't big by French standards. But it has managed to make a name for itself in Asia. Last year it sold 600,000 bottles to China - double the previous year's total. A Chinese investigation into EU wine exports is a worry for Anne Arbeau, who's family have run the vineyard for four generations. SOUNDBITE: Domain Arbeau Manager, Anne Arbeau, saying (French): "Our wine targets the middle classes. If we increase taxes for them, it'll impact our sales. The price of expensive wines will definitely increase, but that might not have such an impact as richer consumers can still afford it." Arbeau is caught up in a tit-for-tat trade row. China's wine investigation follows a similar one by the EU into Chinese solar panels. SOUNDBITE: Domain Arbeau Manager, Anne Arbeau, saying (French): "I think the people who represent our industry need to get together to make politicians understand that this is a real danger for the French economy." The new solar panel tariffs were due to come into force on Thursday. And global trade could now become an issue for this month's G8 meeting in Northern Ireland. France is reportedly threatening to block EU-US trade talks. That's unless cultural industries such as music and film are excluded from the talks.