“We thank the Administration for reaching an agreement to secure the removal of retaliatory tariffs on American Whiskey exports to two of our largest and most important export markets,” said Chris Swonger, President & Chief Executive of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, “With this critical issue now resolved, we look forward to joining the various efforts to support the prompt Congressional passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement which includes important benefits for our industry.”
Chris Swonger added that DISCUS hoped that, “The US and our trading partners can build on this positive momentum to resolve all of the remaining retaliatory tariffs that our US distilled spirits exports face, particularly the European Union’s 25% tariff on American Whiskey.”
While it was another record year for spirits exports from the US, reaching almost $1.7 billion to last November, the retaliatory tariffs had a measurable impact on American whiskey exports, particularly to the EU, its largest market at $675 million (Jan-Jun: $363 million; Jul-Nov: $312 million).
American whiskey exports to the EU for the first half of the year were growing at a brisk 33% according to DISCUS but took a sharp downturn following the imposition of tariffs, declining by 8.7% compared to the same July-Nov period in 2017.
Globally during the first six months of 2018 US exports of American whiskeys were growing at 28% (Jan-Jun: $595 million). But following the imposition of the retaliatory tariffs, these exports decreased 8.2% (Jul-Nov: $526 million) compared to the same July-Nov period in 2017.
In response to the US steel and aluminium tariffs introduced against them on July 1st 2018, Canada had imposed a retaliatory tariff of 10% on all US whiskey imports and Mexico had imposed a retaliatory tariff of 25% on US whiskeys since June 5th of that year.