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Distillers discuss trade pact with White House

Independent distillers from across Washington state have met with White House officials to discuss the “positive impact” of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement on US spirits

US spirits
Distillers and government officials have discussed the “positive impact” the TTP Agreement on US spirits

In October last year, the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei and Chile all signed the agreement, which will see more than 18,000 tariffs on American products reduced to zero.

Last week, a number of small Washington state distillers gathered at Westland Distillery in Seattle to meet White House deputy assistant to the President and deputy cabinet secretary Gaurab Bansal to outline the effects of the TTP Agreement.

“Distillers of all sizes benefit from expanding trade,” said Kraig R. Naasz, president and CEO of trade body the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will further enhance exports of spirits and includes important new protections for Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey – the top US spirits exports.

“Washington state distillers are keenly aware of how exports have grown their business and create new local jobs. Making it easier to ship US products overseas will greatly benefit the Washington state economy and its ports, which are the point of embarkation for millions of dollars worth of American Bourbon destined for Asia.”

Negotiations for the TPP concluded last year and Discus is now calling on Congress to approve the TPP.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a high standards agreement that will eliminate thousands of taxes that other countries impose on Made in Washington exports, which will support local jobs and level the playing field for Washington state workers,” said Bansal.

“Those tax cuts include tariffs as high as 55 percent that Washington state’s small distilleries face as they look to export to rapidly growing markets across Asia.

“TPP will bolster our leadership abroad and help the more than 11,000 exporting small businesses in Washington State compete around the world.”

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