Toasts Not Tariffs Letter to President Biden

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President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

June 9, 2021

On behalf of the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition, we are writing in advance of your upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the G-7 to urge you to secure a return to bilateral duty-free trade in distilled spirits and an agreement not to impose any additional tariffs on wine.

Our Coalition, which includes 50 U.S. associations representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. beverage alcohol industry and jobs in all 50 States, welcomed the vital steps your administration has already taken to reset the important U.S.-UK trading relationship, including the agreement to suspend tariffs for four-months in the WTO-Boeing-Airbus disputes.

However, the UK’s continued application of the 25 percent retaliatory tariff on imports of American Whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and American Single Malt Whiskey, has placed these products at a serious competitive disadvantage in the UK, resulting in a 53 percent decline in exports to our fourth largest export market between 2018-2020. The UK recently launched a public consultation on the tariffs it has been imposing since 2018 in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. The UK’s proposed list retains American Whiskeys and also includes American wine, which is not currently subject to tariffs. The UK is the second largest export market for U.S. wine, totaling $235 million in 2020. The imposition of a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. wine would have a significant negative impact on the top U.S. agricultural export to the UK.

We fully appreciate that both of our governments are working hard to settle both underlying disputes, which are unrelated to the beverage alcohol sector. As we have recently entered the third year of retaliatory tariffs on American Whiskeys, it is critically important for our industries, our farmer suppliers and the hospitality sector across the U.S. that the UK and U.S. agree as soon as possible to permanently remove tariffs on distilled spirits, and refrain from imposing any new tariffs on wine.

We are fully committed and stand ready to support your administration’s efforts to build back better the critical and longstanding special U.S.-UK economic relationship.

Sincerely,

Arizona Craft Distillers Guild
Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association
California Artisanal Distillers Guild
Colorado Distillers Guild
Connecticut Spirits Trail
American Beverage Licensees
American Craft Spirits Association
American Distilled Spirits Alliance
American Distilling Institute
American Single Malt Whiskey Commission
Arizona Craft Distillers Guild 

Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association
California Artisanal Distillers Guild
Colorado Distillers Guild
Connecticut Spirits Trail
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Distillers Association of North Carolina
Florida Craft Spirits Association
Idaho Distillers Association
Illinois Craft Distillers Association
Independent Restaurant Coalition
Iowa Distillers Alliance
Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Louisiana Distillers Guild
Maryland Distillers Guild
Michigan Craft Distillers Association
Montana Distillers Guild
Napa Valley Vintners
National Association of Beverage Importers
National Association of Wine Retailers
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
New Jersey Craft Distillers Guild
New Hampshire Distillers Guild
New York State Distillers Guild
North American Shippers Association
NY Wine Industry Association
Ohio Distiller’s Guild
Oregon Distillers Guild
Oregon Wine Council
Pennsylvania Distillers Guild
South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild
Tennessee Distillers Guild
Texas Distilled Spirits Association
The Maryland Wineries Association
United States Bartenders’ Guild
U.S. Wine Trade Alliance
Virginia Distillers Association
Washington Wine Institute
Willamette Valley Wineries Association
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
Wine and Spirits Shippers Association
Wine Institute
WineAmerica

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