Overseas tariffs sour U.S. whiskey exports
NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - American whiskey makers are
feeling the pain after their major overseas markets imposed
hefty duties on their liquor in retaliation against President
Donald Trump's tariffs on aluminum imports.
U.S. global whiskey exports, which include rye and bourbons,
recorded a nifty 28 percent year-over-year increase in the first
six months 2018, the Distilled Spirits Council said on Tuesday.
But once levies from Canada, Mexico, China and the European
Union took effect, the collective whiskey exports from 37 U.S.
states fell by 8 percent in the period from July to November
last year, compared with the same five months in 2017, according
to the Washington-based industry trade group.
The tariff-induced drop wiped out the overseas sales gain
the industry had enjoyed in the first half of 2018, the group's
"Tariffs are starting to have a negative effect on exports,"
Christine LoCascio, the group's senior vice president of
international trade, told a press conference. "Many of the small
distillers have felt the effect on day one."
In 2017, American whiskey producers exported $1.1 billion
worth of their products. Nearly 60 percent was shipped to the
EU, 12 percent to Canada and the rest to other countries,
On the other hand, the distillers fared better at home.
In 2017, American whiskey rang up a 6.6 percent increase in
revenues from a year earlier to $3.6 billion, the group's data
In the wake of the EU's imposing 25 percent tariffs last
June, U.S. whiskey exports fell 8.7 percent in the following
five months, compared with the same period in 2017.
Canada's 10 percent duties that took effect on July 1
resulted in an 8.3 percent sales decline in that country for
American whiskey producers in the July-November period compared
with the same period a year earlier, the group said.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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