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E.U. Suspends Pending Tariff Hike On American Whiskey

May 17, 2021

The E.U. and U.S. have agreed to start talks toward ending their trade dispute over steel and aluminum, with the E.U. suspending its pending tariff hikes related to the situation, including a 50% levy on American whiskey that would have taken effect June 1. American whiskies have been under a 25% retaliatory tariff in the E.U. since mid 2018, which the bloc instituted in response to 25% U.S. tariffs on E.U. steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum.

“This news couldn’t come soon enough,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS). “Distillers across the United States are breathing a huge sigh of relief after bracing for a 50% tariff on American whiskey in just a matter of days that would have forced many craft distillers out of the E.U. market.” The two countries said in a joint statement that they’re aiming to reach a permanent solution to the trade dispute before the end of the year.—Daniel Marsteller

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