Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition Letter to NSC and NEC


Brian Deese
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Director for National Economic Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Jacob Sullivan
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs National Security Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Deese and Mr. Sullivan,

On behalf of the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition, which includes 48 U.S. associations representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry and jobs in all 50 States, we are writing to seek your urgent support in securing the immediate suspension of the EU and UK tariffs on American Whiskey and the permanent removal of all EU, UK, and U.S. tariffs on distilled spirits and wines imposed in connection to unrelated trade disputes.

The 25 percent tariff on exports of American Whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and American Single Malt Whiskey to the EU and UK, puts these products at a serious competitive disadvantage in those markets. The devastating impact of these tariffs on American Whiskey exporters in our most important export markets is clear; since these tariffs were imposed in June 2018, American Whiskey exports have declined by 37 percent to the EU and by 53 percent to the UK.

Urgent action is needed as the EU’s tariff is scheduled to double to 50 percent on June 1, further exacerbating the unlevel playing field in the EU market for American Whiskeys. Moreover, we are gravely concerned that if these tariffs are not lifted soon, many of the 2,000 small U.S. distilleries will not be able to recover from the devastating impacts of both the tariffs and the pandemic. In 2020, American Whiskey was exported from 37 states and American spirits were exported from 41 states.

The recent agreements between the U.S., EU and UK to temporarily suspend tariffs on certain wines and spirits, including the 25 percent tariffs on exports of U.S. rum, brandy and vodka to the EU and UK, are significant steps in the right direction. This temporary suspension will support the recovery of distilleries, restaurants, and bars across the U.S. that were forced to shut down during the pandemic allowing them to rehire employees as the economy improves. However, our work is not done.

Page 2 of 2 May 3, 2021

On behalf of producers, importers, wholesalers and retailers that comprise the U.S. hospitality sector and supply chain partners from farmers and packaging producers which supports millions of jobs across all 50 States, we seek the urgent support of the Biden Administration to build upon the positive momentum in reengaging with our trading partners. Securing the immediate suspension of the tariffs on American Whiskey and the permanent removal of EU, UK, and U.S. tariffs on distilled spirits and wine will provide businesses the certainty they need and help support U.S. jobs as the economy continues to recover.

Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

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
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 Hampshire Distillers Guild
New Jersey Craft 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
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

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