Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition Sends Letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai in Advance of U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Meeting in Pittsburgh this Week
–Group Urges U.S. to Negotiate an Immediate End to Tariffs on American Whiskeys–
WASHINGTON – The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition, 50 associations representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry, sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai urging the Biden administration to secure the immediate suspension of the EU and UK’s tariffs on American Whiskeys and to ensure the UK does not impose additional tariffs on U.S. wine.
In the letter, the coalition commended the administration’s progress in resetting the important trading relationships with the EU and UK, including agreements to suspend tariffs for five years in the WTO-Boeing-Airbus disputes. These agreements have resulted in the suspension of tariffs on a range of U.S., UK and EU distilled spirits and wines.
However, the EU and UK continue to impose a 25 percent tariff on American Whiskeys in the steel and aluminum dispute, making it the only spirits category subject to tariffs in connection to ongoing transatlantic trade disputes.
The coalition pointed out that the EU and UK’s “continued application of 25 percent tariffs on exports of American Whiskeys—now in its third year–is having a devastating impact for U.S. exporters to our most important export markets; American Whiskey exports have declined by 37 percent to the EU and by 53 percent to the UK.”
The coalition added that “urgent action is needed as the EU’s tariff on American Whiskeys is scheduled to double to 50 percent on December 1. If this is allowed to happen, it will further exacerbate the unlevel playing field in the EU market for American Whiskeys, which account for over 61 percent of total U.S. spirits exports.”
The coalition called attention to the EU’s public commitment to resolve the underlying dispute on steel and aluminum by the end of the year.
In addition, the group noted that the UK is reviewing its retaliatory tariffs on American products in connection to the steel and aluminum dispute and that an announcement is imminent. The UK’s proposed list retains American Whiskeys and includes American wine, which is not currently subject to tariffs.
The letter concluded, “we reiterate our request for the Biden administration to secure the immediate suspension of the EU and UK’s tariffs on American Whiskeys and ensure the UK does not impose additional tariffs on U.S. wine. We stand ready to support the administration’s efforts to rebuild our critical relationships with the EU and UK.”
Additional background on the timeline and impact of EU, UK, and U.S. tariffs on wine and distilled spirits can be found here.