WSTA calls on Government to end harmful Bourbon tariffs
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has submitted a response to the Government’s consultation on damaging US tariffs. They have called for the swift removal of tariffs on US whiskies. They also warned that adding duties to wine could be detrimental to UK jobs across the industry.
Decline in trade
Since June 2018, Bourbon and US whiskies have been subject to an additional tariff of 25%. This ended 25 years of tariff-free trade in whiskies between the UK and the US. The decision to impose a tariff on US whiskies, initially taken by the EU, has had a massive impact on our wine and spirit industry. It has resulted in huge declines in trade with our most significant trade partner.
The annual value of US whiskey imports to the UK has halved since 2017. Also, UK importers and Bourbon fans, along with the broader hospitality sector, have paid an extra £55m in retaliatory tariffs, since duties came into effect. Continuation of tariffs either on US whiskies or new ones on US wines could see the US return to targeting UK exports in future trade disputes.
WSTA supports removal of tariffs
The WSTA is calling for a return to the historic ‘zero for zero’ trade agreement between the US and EU that began in the mid-90s. As a result, US alcoholic beverages would also be removed from the scope of all current and future disputes.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, comments further. “US whiskies have paid more than their fair share of tariffs. In a year when the hospitality industry has seen significant closures, it’s time we got back to trade and not tariffs with our close friends across the pond. The WSTA supports the removal of these tariffs with immediate effect.”
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Author: Robin Goldsmith of The Write Taste