On 17 May, the European Commission announced the EU had agreed with the US to suspend the second tranche of rebalancing measures in the ongoing steel and aluminium dispute, including the doubling of EU tariffs on US whiskey & Bourbon that would have come into effect on 1 June.
Commenting on this step, Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE said:
“This is a positive development and a great relief to the many unrelated sectors targeted in this dispute. We would like to congratulate the EU and the US for reaching this agreement.
The step is an important alleviation for US whiskey producers that would have faced a devastating doubling of import duties to 50% on 1 June. We need clarity that this suspension will continue until the end of the year or until the matter has been resolved and tariffs are withdrawn completely.
The 25% tariff rate which has been in place for nearly three years now has had, and continues to have, a significant negative impact on US whiskey exports to Europe which have drastically fallen as a result. A full removal of these tariffs is needed to reverse this trend and boost jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic amidst a very difficult market situation marked by the COVID crisis.
We hope that both the EU and the US will now be able to find a final and permanent resolution to this dispute before the end of the year as a result of their discussions to address global steel and aluminium excess capacity.
We also hope that both sides will find common ground to resolve the Airbus-Boeing dispute before the end of the 4-month suspension period in July.”