WASHINGTON – Forty-seven U.S. associations representing all tiers of the beverage alcohol industry are marking National Agriculture Day with the launch of the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition to advocate for the permanent removal of all EU, UK and U.S. tariffs on beverage alcohol products in connection to the steel and aluminum and WTO Boeing/Airbus disputes.
The coalition members represent the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry including distillers and vintners who make the products, importers and wholesalers who distribute the products, and liquor stores and restaurants that sell the products.
“From barrel makers to warehouse workers and restaurant serving staff, these protracted trade disputes that are totally unrelated to the alcohol sector are having a very real and harmful effect on American jobs,” the coalition said. “By joining together, the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition is sending a unified and clear message that these retaliatory tariffs on beverage alcohol products must come to an immediate end.”
The U.S., EU and UK recently announced four-month suspensions of U.S. tariffs on certain EU and UK distilled spirits and wines, and EU tariffs on U.S. spirits in the WTO Boeing/Airbus disputes. However, the EU and UK continue to impose a 25 percent tariff on American Whiskeys, including Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, in the steel and aluminum dispute. The EU’s tariff on American Whiskey will double to a devastating 50 percent on June 1, 2021.
“The recent agreements between the U.S., EU and UK to suspend tariffs on certain wine and spirits is a significant step in the right direction and will support the recovery of restaurants, bars and distilleries across the country that were forced to shut down their businesses during the pandemic,” said the coalition. “However, the work to protect all American workers and businesses will not be done until the UK and the EU remove their tariffs on American Whiskey. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the U.S., EU and UK permanently remove tariffs on distilled spirits and wine.”
The beverage alcohol sector supports millions of good-paying jobs in every state, from the production, import and wholesale tiers all the way to the retail tier and hospitality sector. Vintners and distillers purchase American grapes, grains and barrels, package their brands with American bottles and labels, and ship their goods for export on American trucks and railroads.
“American distilled spirits and wines are shining examples of value-added agriculture, U.S. craftsmanship and export strength,” the coalition added. “Absent urgent action to permanently lift all of these tariffs, we fear many small U.S. distilleries and wineries will be destroyed. We commend the Biden administration for working to reestablish positive relationships with our key trading partners and urge Ambassador Katherine Tai to continue this positive momentum by prioritizing the resolution of this long-drawn-out tariff nightmare.”
The Coalition website is toastsnottariffs.org
The coalition consists of: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Wine Institute, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, American Beverage Licensees, National Retail Federation, American Craft Spirits Association, American Distilled Spirits Alliance, U.S. Wine Trade Alliance, National Council Of Chain Restaurants, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, National Restaurant Association, National Association Of Beverage Importers, National Association Of Wine Retailers, Michigan Craft Distillers Association, Wine And Spirits Shippers Association, WineAmerica, Napa Valley Vintners, North American Shippers Association , NY Wine Industry Association, Connecticut Spirits Trail, Texas Distilled Spirits Association, Pennsylvania Distillers Guild, Idaho Distillers Association, New Jersey Craft Distillers Guild, Oregon Wine Council, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Tennessee Distillers Guild, Oregon Distillers Guild, Florida Craft Spirits Association, Illinois Craft Distillers Association, Maryland Distillers Guild, The Maryland Wineries Association, American Distilling Institute, Louisiana Distillers Guild, Colorado Distillers Guild, Montana Distillers Guild, California Artisanal Distillers Guild, Iowa Distillers Alliance, Independent Restaurant Coalition, Arizona Craft Distillers Guild, Virginia Distillers Association, Ohio Distiller’s Guild, South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild, New York State Distillers Guild, American Single Malt Whiskey Commission, Washington Wine Institute and Willamette Valley Wineries Association.