Tariffs to affect 65% of US whiskey exports

The EU will introduce a 25% tariff on whiskey and bourbon next month in retaliation for the US’s introduction of a tariff on EU steel and aluminium.

The impending trade war will adversely affect some 46% of global spirits exports from the US.

In fact some 65% of its global whiskey and bourbon exports could be adversely affected according to the US spirits trade body the Distilled Spirits Council, which wrote to the US Secretary for Commerce Wilbur Ross recently, expressing its “extreme concern” at potential developments.

It’s reckoned that some €644 million-worth ($759m) of US spirits exports could be hit by retaliatory tariffs from the EU and other trading blocks.

“The imposition of tariffs on these products by our major trading partners threatens to seriously impede the export progress that has benefited our sector and created jobs across the country,” pointed out the Interim President & Chief Executive of the Distilled Spirits Council Clarkson Hine in the letter.

“Over the past two decades, US spirits exports have increased from $575 million in 1997 to $1.64 billion in 2017, a rise of 185%.”

Mexico has already placed tariffs on bourbon as well as other US products such as steel and pork, apples and potatoes.

Now China has imposed tariffs of its own against the US in retaliation.

Last weekend, the Chinese government is understood to have included American whiskey on a list of US exports ranging from cigars and electric cars, soybeans and salmon, orange juice and even lobsters.


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