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Distilled Spirits Council Says Potential EU Retaliation Threat Against Bourbon Would Be Misguided

The Distilled Spirits Council recently issued the following statement in response to news reports regarding the European Union’s potential trade retaliation against some U.S. whiskey products in the context of actions the Trump Administration may be considering relative to aluminum and steel imports.

“U.S. and EU spirits exporters have enjoyed duty-free access to each other’s markets for more than two decades, which has greatly benefited both spirits producers and consumers and resulted in increased exports, jobs and consumer choice.

Members of the Distilled Spirits Council have made considerable investments in both the U.S. and the EU to create complementary product portfolios comprised of both domestic and imported brands. U.S. whiskeys are an important component of these investment strategies and brand portfolios.

Any efforts to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. spirits exports to the EU will harm consumers, producers and the U.S. and EU spirits sectors.”

Total U.S. spirits exports to the EU in 2016 were valued at $654 million; Bourbon whiskey accounted for 20 percent of that total.

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