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US Whiskey Exporters Dodge a Bullet as Biden and the EU Reach Agreement

Tariff discussions are underway between the US and EU on aluminum, steel, and whiskey.
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American Whiskey Makers

US Whiskey Exporters Dodge a Bullet 

It's good news for US whiskey, motorcycle, and boat exporters as EU Suspends Plans to Raise Tariffs on U.S. Whiskey, Other Goods

The European Union on Monday agreed to postpone plans to raise tariffs on American whiskeys, motorcycles, boats and other items set to take effect June 1 as it begins talks with the Biden administration aimed at lifting U.S. steel tariffs.

In a joint statement, the U.S. and EU said they would begin formal discussions to address problems plaguing the global steel and aluminum industry, and “agreed to chart a path” toward resolving the dispute that led to tariffs.

“Distillers across the United States are breathing a huge sigh of relief after bracing for a 50% tariff on American Whiskeys in just a matter of days that would have forced many craft distillers out of the EU market,” said Chris Swonger, the president of the Distilled Spirits Council, a trade group.

Trump's Confrontational Path

Trump's confrontational path was an absolute disaster. He made agricultural demands on the EU that the EU could never accept.

Trump also labeled car imports from the EU a "national security" issue under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

No other administration had ever done that.

“The EU is not a national security threat to the U.S.,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Union’s trade commissioner.

Tit for Tat on Planes and Whiskey

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The World Trade organization sided with Trump that the EU provided illegal subsidies for Airbus. 

Trump made a big issue out of it and hiked tariffs. 

Then the WTO ruled the US provided illegal subsidies for Boeing. 

This gave the EU a right to respond with tariffs on whiskey, motorcycles, boats and other items. 

Kudos to Biden

No one wins with this kind of tariff nonsense. Kudos to Biden for walking things back.

Don't expect many kudos for Biden, but it's important to give them when deserved.

Free Trade Agreement

I can write a good free trade agreement in one sentence.

Effective immediately, the US ends all subsidies and tariffs on all items no matter what any other country does. 

That would set the proper example for the world. Biden will not do that of course. 

In effect, we are giving kudos for a degree of improvement, not the correct policy.