Distilled Spirits Council Criticizes Treasury Dept. For Failure to Allow Excise Duty-Drawback in Rule

The Distilled Spirits Council today criticized the U.S. Treasury Department for rejecting the excise tax drawback on spirits, beer and wine that are produced in the United States for export, as Congress explicitly directed in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA).

The U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a final rule on Modernized Drawback today that prohibited the excise tax drawback. This contradicts the Congressional intent contained in TFTEA to simplify drawback claims processing.

TFTEA was supposed to allow companies to recoup taxes, duties and fees on imported products after exporting like products. Instead, Treasury has thwarted the intent of Congress to promote exports through this new rule by limiting the excise duty drawback.

“Congress wanted to encourage production in the United States with duty drawback, which was designed to incentivize U.S. manufacturers to export,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Chris Swonger.

“At a time when retaliatory tariffs are impacting American business, small and large, this program could provide some relief, simplification, and add to our competitiveness,” he added. “Treasury needs to follow Congressional intent and stop impeding a program that levels the playing field for U.S. manufacturers in the global market.”