American whiskey producers welcome EU tariff freeze

In a joint statement yesterday (17 May), representatives from the EU and US said they were beginning talks to address the trade conflicts over the global steel and aluminium industry that have resulted in tariffs on American whiskey, among other products.

As part of these discussions, they agreed to halt the 50% tariff on American whiskey that would have come into effect on 1 June.

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association, said: “This is welcome news as distillers in Kentucky and across America were perilously close to a crippling blow on European exports.”

Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the US, agreed, noting that a 50% tariff would have “forced many craft distillers out of the EU market”.

Meanwhile, Brown-Forman was “encouraged” by the decision: “We applaud the Biden administration and its EU counterparts for this positive step forward,” the company stated.

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