What IS America without pasta? Without prosciutto? Or parmigiano?? In this episode, we’ll ask those very questions when we’re joined by former Congressman Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, the new Chairman of the American Italian Food Coalition (AIFC), a consortium of over 450 Italian companies seeking to protect Italian pasta, coffee, biscuits and wafers from US’s new tariff policies.
The “Protector of Parmigiano” tells us about the coalition’s recent success in preventing the expansion of import taxes to a broad range of Italian foods. Since last year, those taxes have added 25% to the price of genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Scotch whiskey, Spanish olives and French wine as a result of retaliatory tariffs on European products in response to subsidies Airbus received from some Europe nations.
He’ll share how the tariffs would have affected Italian American mom-and-pop businesses and how these taxes would have directly contributed to an eventual demise of Italian American culture. And, we’ll explore the continuing strength of Italy as a trade partner with the United States.
Congressman Barletta also shares his Italian American upbringing in Hazleton, PA, and how his roots directly influenced the course of his life as a businessman, mayor, and straight through to his time in Washington, DC.
Join us for a lively and enlightening conversation on just how important Italian products are to the fabric of our nation!
The Italian American Podcast Team