Trade Associations Form Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition to Oppose Spirits Tariffs

A group of U.S. associations that represent the alcoholic beverage industry have come together to form the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition to advocate for the removal of all tariffs on spirits in connection to the ongoing steel and aluminum and WTO Boeing/Airbus disputes.

A total of 47 such organizations are involved, representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry, from distillers and vintners to importers and wholesalers, as well as liquor stores and restaurants that sell the products, according to an announcement sent to the media.

The U.S., EU and UK recently announced four-month suspensions of U.S. tariffs on certain EU and UK distilled spirits and wines, and EU tariffs on U.S. spirits in the WTO Boeing/Airbus disputes. However, the EU and UK continue to impose a 25 percent tariff on American whiskeys, including bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, in the steel and aluminum dispute. The EU’s tariff on American whiskey will double to a devastating 50 percent on June 1.

The Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition is calling for a permanent end to all such tariffs.

“From barrel makers to warehouse workers and restaurant serving staff, these protracted trade disputes that are totally unrelated to the alcohol sector are having a very real and harmful effect on American jobs,” the coalition said in its announcement. “By joining together, the Toasts Not Tariffs Coalition is sending a unified and clear message that these retaliatory tariffs on beverage alcohol products must come to an immediate end.”

The statement continued, “The recent agreements between the U.S., EU and UK to suspend tariffs on certain wine and spirits are significant steps in the right direction and will support the recovery of restaurants, bars and distilleries across the country that were forced to shut down their businesses during the pandemic. However, the work to protect all American workers and businesses will not be done until the UK and the EU remove their tariffs on American whiskey. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the U.S., EU and UK permanently remove tariffs on distilled spirits and wine.”

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