American Whiskey Gets a Partial Tariff Reprieve


The Trump Administration’s ongoing tariff wars have roiled the American drinks industry, hurting producers of both beer and whiskey. Canada and Mexico’s retaliatory whiskey tariffs were recently lifted, but as the Chicago Tribune reports, producers are still concerned about European markets:

American whiskey producers feeling the pain from the Trump administration's trade disputes have gotten a shot of relief with an agreement that will end retaliatory tariffs that Canada and Mexico slapped on whiskey and other U.S. products.

The whiskey industry hailed the arrangement to ease trade tensions among the North American allies and said it hopes it's the first of several rounds of good news on the trade front. Distillers have suffered shrinking exports since the last half of 2018 due to tariffs in some key markets.

President Donald Trump last Friday lifted import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delayed auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe. In return, the Canadians and Mexicans agreed to scrap their retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including American whiskey.

But U.S. whiskey makers still face significant trade hurdles in the European Union, the industry's biggest export market…

Read more here.

Olive Tariffs: Making Martinis Costlier


As we have previously discussed on DrinksReform, tariffs are hurting American drinkers. This time, harm comes in the form of martinis. Per The Inquirer, The Trade Commission decided to put a tariff on Spanish olives after finding that they allegedly hurt American producers:

The U.S. International Trade Commission will impose antidumping duties of as much as 25.5 percent on Spanish olives after finding that the imports hurt American producers. Antisubsidy duties of 27.02 percent will also be levied.

The ruling may help American producers that asked for the duties to be imposed, including members of the trade group Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, according to Bloomberg Law.

But the European Commission has said it will defend the interests of Spanish olive producers, who sent an estimated $67.6 million worth of their product to the U.S. in 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

See the whole article here.

Aluminum Tariffs Threaten to Sour American Whiskey (and more)


As we've previously discussed on DrinksReform, tariffs are going to hurt the USA's drinks industry. Despite claims that they will protect business, American brewers are bracing for increased productions costs. Reuters provides brewer Adam Spiegel's situation as a case study:

U.S. President Donald Trump on June 1 imposed tariffs for aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union. As a result, Spiegel expects his bill for recently-ordered steel fermentation tanks, worth several hundred thousand dollars, to be $50,000 to $60,000 higher.

Spiegel will also get squeezed by the tariffs the EU announced in retaliation on U.S. goods, including whiskey, earlier this week. They could put his roughly 58 pounds ($77.83) per bottle of Sonoma Rye and West of Kentucky Bourbon out of reach for some European drinkers unless he swallows some of the cost.

With nearly a quarter of his sales coming in Europe, lowering his prices enough to offset the entire tariff would be too stiff a drink for Spiegel given total revenue only amounts to a few million dollars a year.

Find the entire article here. The threat is also looming in other industries. For some details about how that will affect beer, check this article out. For more about retaliatory tariffs, follow this link.

How Trump Administration's Tariffs Will Hurt Bourbon


As we've covered before, the recent tariffs are expected to impact beer cans and drive up the price of beer. According to the Spirits Business, bourbon will also be impacted:

Yesterday (31 May), Trump made the decision not to exempt the EU, Mexico and Canada from tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum.

In March, the White House announced a temporary exemption for the EU and six other countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, which came into effect on 23 March. The temporary exemption lasted until 1 May.

EU officials had previously suggested that retaliatory measures could affect agricultural products from the US, including American whiskey...

Read more.

Coors CEO weighs in on Trump Administration Aluminum Tariffs


As reported on DrinksReform.org, beer makers have voiced concerns that the current administration's aluminum tariffs will raise the prices of beer cans (and thus beer overall). This week, Coors CEO Pete Coors weighed in on the tariffs in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:

A cold can of beer on a hot summer day is as American as it gets. But now that experience will cost you more, one of many unfortunate effects of the 10% tariff President Trump imposed on aluminum imports in March.

I say this as a fourth-generation brewer. My great-grandfather founded the Coors family business almost 150 years ago in Golden, Colo. In 1958 my uncle Bill Coors, now 101, led a team that created the first aluminum beer can. He couldn’t have imagined that his innovation would be caught in the crossfire of a trade war decades later.

Since January, as the president’s tariff talk intensified, aluminum prices have risen in the U.S., even for domestic aluminum forged from scrap. The price index for transport and storage of aluminum has doubled. While some U.S. allies received temporary exemptions, the policy is already hurting businesses across the country. As a leader in the $100 billion-a-year U.S. beer business, I’m deeply concerned about a possible pullback in expansion, acquisition and innovation in the industry...

Read more here.