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End tariffs to save jobs, trade bodies urge

A collective of 17 trade associations representing alcohol sectors in the US, the EU and the UK have joined forces to call for the urgent removal of all tariffs to save jobs.

Trade bodies on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for the urgent removal of tariffs

The organisations – which include Spirits Europe, the Scotch Whisky Association and the Distilled Spirits Council of the US – have submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) opposing the US government’s proposal to introduce additional tariffs on distilled spirits, wine and beer from the EU and the UK.

The US imposed tariffs on numerous alcoholic beverages, including single malt Scotch, single malt Irish whiskey and European liqueurs, in October last year over a 16-year dispute regarding aircraft subsidies for Airbus, which the US claims has negatively impacted Boeing.

Earlier this year, the USTR opened a consultation to determine whether it should impose additional tariffs on EU and UK goods, including vodka and gin made in the UK.

A statement from the groups said: “Our 17 US, EU and UK associations are united in strong opposition to tariffs on beverage alcohol products. We are speaking with one voice calling for the US Administration and the European Commission to remove the current tariffs on spirits and wine from the EU and UK, and American whiskeys, and to forgo imposing any additional tariffs on beverage alcohol products.

“We hope Friday’s announcement by Airbus and the legislation passed in Washington State in March regarding civil aviation subsidies are significant steps toward the elimination of tariffs.

“Beverage alcohol sectors on both sides of the Atlantic have suffered enough. These tariffs are exacerbating the incredible burden hospitality businesses are experiencing with the widespread closures of bars and restaurants due to Covid-19.

“The US and EU need to seek measures to bolster hospitality jobs, not saddle businesses with unnecessary tariffs.”

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