U.S., U.K. Reach Deal to End Tariffs on Whiskey

The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition, which includes the American Craft Spirits Association, raised a glass of gratitude to the Biden administration for negotiating a successful end to the harmful tariffs impacting the entire U.S. beverage alcohol sector.   

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced the agreement to remove the retaliatory tariffs on American Whiskeys during a meeting Tuesday afternoon at the U.S./UK Dialogue on the Future of Atlantic Trade in Baltimore, Maryland.  Under the terms of the agreement, the UK’s retaliatory tariff on American Whiskey exports will be lifted on June 1.

“With yesterday’s momentous agreement with the UK, transatlantic trade in distilled spirits will once again flow tariff free, and American wines will no longer face the threat of debilitating retaliatory tariffs,” said the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition.  “Cheers to Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai and their teams at the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for their dedication and persistence on behalf of the entire U.S. beverage alcohol industry.”

Since the imposition of the 25 percent retaliatory tariff on American Whiskeys in June 2018, exports to the UK, the U.S. spirits industry’s fourth-largest market, have declined by 42 percent, from $150 million to $88 million (2018-2021). With the removal of these tariffs on American Whiskey, no more retaliatory tariffs remain on U.S., UK and EU distilled spirits and wines.

The coalition added, “We deeply appreciate the administration’s steadfast focus on rebuilding relationships with our close trading partners and allies in the EU and UK.  These significant agreements will benefit U.S. workers throughout the entire alcohol supply chain, including farmers, distillers and vintners as well as those who distribute and sell the products at restaurants, bars and spirits and wine stores.”

The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition consists of 50 U.S. trade associations representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. beverage alcohol sector (i.e., at the producer, importer, wholesaler, retailer and on-premise levels) united in opposition to U.S., EU and UK tariffs on beverage alcohol products.

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