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Canada slaps 10% tariff on American whiskey

Canada has hit out at US president Donald Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs with its own countermeasures, which have put American whiskey in the firing line once again.

Canada has introduced a 10% import tariff on American whiskey

On Sunday (1 July) Canada introduced retaliatory tariffs on more than 250 US-made goods – including a 10% tariff on American whiskey – as well as a 25% duty on US metal products.

The duties are estimated to total CA$16.6 billion (US$12.6bn), which represents the 2017 value of Canadian metals exports affected by the US tariffs.

The tariffs are in response to the US’s implementation of a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium, which came into effect on 1 June.

A statement on the Canadian government website said: “These countermeasures will take effect on 1 July, 2018 and will remain in place until the US eliminates trade-restrictive measures against Canadian steel and aluminium products.

“The countermeasures will not apply to US goods that are in transit to Canada on the day on which these countermeasures come into force.”

Price hikes

The Trump administration has also embroiled itself in a trade war with the EU as a result of its 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminium respectively.

On 22 June, the EU introduced retaliatory tariffs on €2.8bn (US$3.3bn) worth of US products, including a 25% duty on American whiskey and Bourbon.

Brown-Forman has already confirmed the tariffs will push up the cost of its American whiskey brands – such as Jack Daniel’s – by around 10% in EU markets where the drinks group owns its distribution. In other markets, any price hikes will be dependent on the local distributor.

China has also threatened revenge import tariffs on US-made products after the US levied a 25% tariff on Chinese imports worth US$50bn. Additional tariffs are due to affect US$34bn worth of Chinese imports from 6 July.

For an in-depth look at the ongoing trade war, see the July issue of The Spirits Business magazine, out soon.

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