Urges Congress to Pass USMCA without Delay

WASHINGTON, DC – The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States today welcomed the introduction of legislation, H.R. 5430, to implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The U.S. spirits industry and its consumers benefit from free and fair trade agreements.  We strongly support USMCA and look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to secure the prompt approval of the agreement,” said Christine LoCascio, Chief of Public Policy for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

LoCascio stated USMCA includes a number of important provisions for the spirits industry including:

  • Maintains duty-free trade in spirits
  • Preserves recognition for “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey”
  • Secures Mexico’s agreement to take steps to provide distinctive product recognition for “American Rye Whiskey,” a fast-growing category of American Whiskey.
  • Reaffirms commitments concerning the internal sale and distribution of distilled spirits;
  • Establishes new best practices regarding labeling and certifications for beverage alcohol, which will help to facilitate trade in distilled spirits among the three countries.

The elimination of tariffs under NAFTA in 1995 boosted U.S. spirits exports to Canada by nearly 1,700 percent and to Mexico by approximately 1,500 percent. In 2018, U.S. spirits exports to Canada were valued at over $234 million. Exports to Mexico in 2018 were valued at $61 million. In 2018, Canada ranked as the top export destination for U.S. spirits exports and Mexico ranked as the 9th largest.