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Monday, June 18, 2018

Whiskey tarriffs
When Mexico retaliated against the U.S. on trade last week, Tennessee-made whiskey was among products hit, prompting distillers to urge new trade policy from the Trump administration. The Distilled Spirits Council wrote to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday, asking to meet with him to work on a trade solution that would not harm the spirits sector. The letter comes two days after Mexico placed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. whiskey, and as Canada, the European Union and other countries are proposing their own spirits tariffs in response to steel and aluminum tariffs from the Trump administration. "We are extremely concerned about the increasing likelihood that the European Union, Canada, Turkey and/or China will soon begin retaliating against the U.S. distilled spirits products," Distilled Spirits Council Interim CEO Clarkson Hine says. "The imposition of tariffs on these products by our major trading partners threatens to seriously impede the export progress that has benefitted our sector and created jobs across the country." Whiskey is a major driver in Tennessee's economy, with exports valued at $691 million in 2015. Jack Danielís sells whiskey to more than 160 countries, with foreign sales accounting for 60 percent of the companyís overall market share. U.S. whiskey exports to Mexico exceeded $13 million in 2017, the council said. The European Union has threatened a 25 percent tariff on U.S. whiskey imports which could be imposed as early as June 20. U.S. whiskey exports to the EU were valued at $667 million, according to the council.

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