The biggest spirits stories of 2018

11th January, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Bourbon hit by tit-for-tat tariffs

The Bourbon industry has become the target of punitive tariffs in response to the Trump administration’s aggressive stance on international trade.

The EU introduced retaliatory tariffs on €2.8 billion (US$3.3bn) worth of US products in June, including a 25% hike on American whiskey duty. In July, Canada slapped a 10% tariff on the spirit, while China imposed a 25% charge.

The moves were in response to US president Donald Trump’s decision this year to impose tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminium imported into the US. The duties were raised on 1 June, affecting the EU, Canada, Mexico and India.

The US has challenged the introduction of tariffs by China, the EU, Canada, Mexico and Turkey, and filed five disputes with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in July, arguing the tariffs were unjustified and illegal.

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