European Union suspends tariffs on American whiskey

17 May, 2021

The European Union has announced that it will temporarily suspend its tariff increase on American whiskey in an effort to reboot transatlantic relations.

An announcement from the EU primarily focused on the suspension of tariffs imposed upon US steel and aluminium, but whiskey was also included.

Chris Swonger, president and chief exexutive of the Distilled Spirits Council, said: “This news couldn’t come soon enough. Distillers across the United States are breathing a huge sigh of relief after bracing for a 50% tariff on American whiskeys in just a matter of days that would have forced many craft distillers out of the EU market.

“We recognise there is still work to be done to get EU and US spirits back to zero for zero tariffs. We greatly appreciate the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to resolve these longstanding trade disputes and reduce the economic pain felt by those industries unfairly caught in the middle.”

The long-running tariff war stems from a dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies for Airbus and Boeing.

Earlier this year, the US announced a temporary suspension of high tariffs on single malt Scotch whisky and a variety of European spirits. The UK suspended retaliatory tariffs on American rum, brandy and vodka, and now the EU is working with the US to resolve the dispute.

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