Beverage alcohol groups call for suspension of US/EU tariffs

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Us Eu

A coalition of 21 trade associations representing wine, distilled spirits and related sectors have reiterated their dismay over tariffs between the US and EU: as new US tariffs come into effect today on certain Cognac, grape brandies, and non-sparkling wine products from France and Germany.

These products, when valued at $38 per proof liter and above ($22.80 for a 750 ml bottle at 40% abv), are subject to new 25% tariffs from the US as of today.

“We are extremely disappointed with the imposition of additional excessive tariffs on certain Cognacs, other brandies and wines from France and Germany,”​ said the coalition, which represents associations from across the alcohol categories in the US, EU and UK.

“These tariffs will just compound the harm caused by existing tariffs. The added pressure resulting from these tariffs will force more businesses to close their doors and more workers to be laid off in sectors already negatively impacted by the global pandemic.”

Tariffs on distilled spirits and wines on both sides of the Atlantic since 2018: as part of trade disputes between the US and EU over Airbus and Boeing subsidies, as well as over tariffs on steel and aluminum. The last round saw the EU add tariffs on US rum, vodka and vermouth in November.

The coalition says the damage to the unrelated beverage industry is widespread.

“These tariffs are having a damaging ripple effect throughout the entire industry.  The widespread harm impacts distillery and winery workers, importers, exporters, distributors, retail and restaurant workers, farmers, packaging companies that provide the containers, caps and lids, and truckers, freight forwarders and logistic providers that get these products through Customs.

“The spirits and wine industries have been suffering since the imposition of retaliatory tariffs in 2018 related to disputes wholly unrelated to the drinks business.  It is beyond time for these unwarranted and excessive tariffs to be suspended.  We are strongly urging the U.S., EU, and UK to return to the negotiating table without delay and reach an agreement to immediately suspend these tariffs.”

The coalition is made up of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States,​ SpiritsEUROPE, Comité Européen Des Entreprises Vins, Wine Institute, Scotch Whisky Association, American Beverage Licensees, WineAmerica, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of America, 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, The Wine And Spirit Trade Association, North American Shippers Association, Napa Valley Vintners, and Wine And Spirits Shippers Association.

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