WSTA calls for return of ‘zero-for-zero’ Bourbon tariffs while warning against wine taxes

By on July 7, 2021 0

Through Lisa riley

Posted: July 07, 2021

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) submitted a response to the government’s consultation on damaging US tariffs, calling for the speedy removal of tariffs on US whiskeys.

Since June 2018, Bourbon and American whiskeys have been subject to an additional 25% tariff, ending 25 years of duty-free whiskey trading between the United Kingdom and the United States.

The WSTA is calling for a return to the historic “zero-for-zero” agreement between the US and the EU that began in the mid-1990s.

The decision to impose a tariff on American whiskeys, initially taken by the EU, had “a seismic impact on our wine and spirits industry and resulted in a considerable decline in trade with our most important trading partner” , said the WSTA.

While the annual value of US whiskey imports to the UK has halved since 2017, UK importers, the hospitality industry and, in turn, UK Bourbon fans have paid an additional £ 55million. in retaliatory rights since the rights came into effect, according to the trade body.

In addition, the WSTA has also warned the government of the dangers of expanding the punitive tariff regime and targeting wine as part of its business strategy.

In total, US wines make up about one in 10 bottles of wine in the UK market, but the ratio of bulk US imports to overall wine imports is much higher, at 22%, he said. he declares.

With “major wine bottling plants” in Bristol, Cheshire, Durham, Fermanagh, Manchester and Norfolk supporting hundreds of direct bottling jobs in the UK, a new tariff on US wines would lead to losses of jobs, “a significant drop in Treasury revenues and ultimately hurt British wine consumers,” the WSTA said.

“This government is a strong supporter of free trade around the world,” said CEO Miles Beale.

“The next step is to remove US wines and spirits from all current and future trade disputes. American whiskeys have paid more than their fair share of tariffs, and in a year when the hospitality industry has seen major shutdowns, it’s time to get back to business, not tariffs with our close friends across the globe. ‘pond.

“The WSTA supports the removal of tariffs on all wines and spirits with immediate effect.”

The call follows the Bourbon Alliance’s submission of a letter to the UK Department for International Trade yesterday, outlining the negative impacts of the 25% tariff retaliation on Bourbon and other US whiskeys on the UK hospitality industry , calling for their immediate removal.

Last month, the Brussels-based CEEV (European Wine Business Committee) and the Wine Institute of California applauded a strong demonstration of support for the transatlantic wine trade following a statement on US trade relations and the EU, signed jointly by 85 members of the United States Congress and members of the European Parliament, calling for the elimination of all tariffs on wines traded between the two markets.

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