Home Local News Industry group urges end of retaliatory tariffs on US spirits

Industry group urges end of retaliatory tariffs on US spirits

William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

RALEIGH — The Distilled Spirits Council and an ad hoc coalition of more than 45 business and agricultural groups are urging an end to retaliatory tariffs.

DISCUS wrote Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking that the U.S. work with Mexico and Canada to end retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a DISCUS news release says.

North Carolina has some 60 distilleries, many of which produce and import whiskey and other spirits.

President Trump helped to initiate the trade war when he implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum last summer. Canada responded with tariffs of its own, including a 10 percent tariff on American whiskey. Mexico chimed in with a 25 percent tariff on whiskey, as did China and the European Union.


“U.S. spirits have been a target of the trade wars — with American whiskey the only U.S. agricultural product subject to retaliatory tariffs by all of the retaliating trade partners,” Christine LoCascios, DISCUS senior vice president for international affairs, said in the release.

“Open markets created by trade agreements have greatly benefited the U.S. spirits industry, American farmers and our consumers. We urge continued dialogue with Mexico and Canada to secure the prompt removal of the retaliatory tariffs,” LoCascio said.

The coalition is urging the Trump administration to take all necessary steps to resolve the issue so that zero-tariff North American trade can resume, and so it can turn attention to securing prompt congressional approval of the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement.

Among those signing the letter are National Pork Producers Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Restaurant Association.

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