Statement by the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition on President Biden Securing 5- Year Tariff Suspensions with UK and EU Leaders in WTO Boeing-Airbus Dispute

“We commend the administration’s tremendous progress in resetting the important trading relationships between the U.S., EU and UK, which have been instrumental for the growth of the hospitality sectors on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Securing a long-term tariff suspension in this dispute provides U.S., EU and UK producers, importers, exporters, and distributors of wines and spirits, as well as bartenders, restaurants, bars and other on-premise establishments with much-needed certainty, many of which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

“The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition hopes these important developments will set the stage for the prompt removal of the 25 percent tariffs on American Whiskeys to the UK and EU. Having recently entered the third year of retaliatory tariffs on American Whiskeys to these two key markets, it is critically important for our producers, our farmer suppliers and the hospitality sector across the U.S., EU and UK that we return to the zero-for-zero agreement on trade in distilled spirits.

“We fully appreciate the Biden administration’s commitment and ongoing efforts to secure a prompt return to duty-free trade for all distilled spirits and an agreement to refrain from imposing any new tariffs on wine.”

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The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition is made up of 50 associations representing the entire three- tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry.

BACKGROUND

  • The EU and the UK have been imposing a 25 percent tariff on American Whiskeys in response to the U.S. imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Since the tariffs were imposed in June 2018, American Whiskey exports to the EU have declined by 37 percent and to the UK by 53 percent.
  • In December 2020, the UK announced it would suspend the EU’s tariff on U.S. rum, brandy and vodka in connection to the WTO Boeing-Airbus dispute as of January 1, 2021.
  • In March 2021, the U.S. and UK agreed to suspend tariffs for four months on UK goods in connection to the WTO Boeing/Airbus disputes, including Single Malt Scotch, Single Malt Irish Whiskey from Northern Ireland, liqueurs and cordials, and certain wines for four months as they negotiate the underlying dispute. The 4-month tariff suspension was set to expire on July 4, 2021.
  • In May 2021, the UK launched a public consultation on the tariffs it is imposing in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, including the 25 percent tariff on American Whiskeys. The deadline for comments is July 5, 2021.
  • Yesterday, the U.S. and EU announced a five-year suspension of tariffs on distilled spirits products as part of the WTO Boeing-Airbus trade dispute agreement. Under that agreement, the EU suspended the 25 percent tariffs on U.S. rum, brandy and vodka imposed in November 2020 for five years. In return, the U.S. suspended the 25 percent tariffs on liqueurs and cordials from Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain and certain wines from Germany, France, Spain imposed in October 2019, and on certain Cognacs and other grape brandies from France and Germany imposed in January 2021.

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