December 05, 2023

Manchin, Bipartisan Colleagues Urge Administration to Save American Jobs, Eliminate Retaliatory Tariffs on Whiskey and Spirits

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined his bipartisan colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to protect the millions of U.S. jobs that rely on American whiskey and spirits producers. Without immediate action, the European Union (EU) will implement a 50% tariff on American whiskey imports on January 1, 2024, and American wine and other distilled spirits imports could see large tariff increases by 2026.

“We write today to request an expedited agreement with the European Union (EU) to secure the permanent removal of retaliatory tariffs on spirits and wines,” the Senators wrote. “We are deeply concerned that a lack of a permanent solution risks the re-imposition of tariffs.”

Retaliatory tariffs by the EU have cost domestic spirits distillers and winemakers billions of dollars since 2018, and the U.S. needs a permanent solution to safeguard over 1.7 million production, distribution, and hospitality jobs that rely on the industry. The Senators’ bipartisan letter urges U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to negotiate a deal to permanently remove retaliatory tariffs on all American-made sprits and wines.

“Spirits have had a significant cultural impact in our country, and currently have a profound impact on the U.S. economy, the Senators continued. “Understanding that tariffs are a ‘tool in the toolbox’ in negotiating a deal, the imposition of additional tariffs on this industry would be detrimental. There are mutual benefits in finding a path forward, and our belief is that spirits and wines are a point where there can be consensus to limit the damage for all parties.”

The letter was also signed by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Todd Young (R-IN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mark Warner (D-VA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Katie Britt (R-AL), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Gary Peters (D-MI).

The full text of the letter can be found here.