The Director General of spiritsEUROPE Ulrich Adam expressed his disappointment at the latest USTR announcement, made on the 30th of December.
“We’re calling for a swift removal of all transatlantic tariffs on spirits and a return to a ‘zero-for-zero’ situation,” he said, “Continuing to drag unrelated sectors like ours into this long-standing dispute is only creating additional economic damage. This needs to stop. Both sides need to find a negotiated solution without delay that will ensure that unrelated sectors like ours stop paying the price for a dispute that’s entirely beyond their control and that will effectively enable sectors like ours to contribute fully to an economic recovery in 2021.”
The new tariffs come on top of an existing 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Irish Whiskey from Northern Ireland and liqueurs and cordials from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK, first imposed in October 2019 in retaliation against aircraft subsidies as part of the Airbus dispute.
These tariffs have resulted in a 34% decline in Scotch Whisky exports and a 28% decline in liqueurs and cordials exported between October 2019 and August 2020 (compared to October 2018 through August 2019).
US spirits have also been caught up in the dispute which initially saw a 25% tariff on Bourbon and other US Whiskey imports to the EU in June 2018.
This resulted in a 41% decline in American Whiskey exports to the EU.
spiritsEUROPE represents the interests of 29 associations of spirits producers as well as 10 leading multinational spirits companies.