Reducing tariff retaliation could level the playing field for sales

ROME (WTVQ / AP) – State’s bourbon industry and nation’s distillers applaud after President Joe Biden said on Sunday that a new US-European Union trade deal would resolve dispute Atlantic Transatlantic Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum in the Trump Era.

Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint appearance at the Group of 20 summit that the deal represented a renewed partnership on economic and environmental issues. The deal resolving the trade dispute would resolve excess capacity that can distort the steel market and create a framework to reduce the carbon intensity of steel and aluminum production that contributes to global warming.

The US president said that “dirty steel” made in China would not be allowed into their markets, although all like-minded economies could participate in the deal.

“By harnessing our diplomatic and economic power, we can reject the misconception that we cannot grow our economy and support American workers while fighting the climate crisis,” said Biden, who pushed the United States to aggressively tackle the threat posed by climate change. Biden is also expected to attend a major United Nations climate conference this week in Glasgow, Scotland.

Von der Leyen continued to smile at Biden and call him “dear Joe” as they discussed the deal, a clear sign that the US president had made progress in repairing relations with Europe after the partnership suffered during the Trump years.

“It will be a big step forward towards climate neutrality and it will ensure a level playing field,” she said, adding that the agreement was part of a renewed and forward-looking agenda with states -United.

The deal was first announced in Rome on Saturday by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. They said Section 232 tariffs, as known, would not be removed entirely, but that a certain amount of European steel and aluminum would be allowed to enter the United States duty-free. rights.

In return for Europe dropping its retaliatory tariffs, the United States would also ensure that “all steel entering the United States via Europe is produced entirely in Europe,” Raimondo said.

Tariff easing is a key step in unraveling one of Donald Trump’s legacies as president as Biden tried to restore U.S.-European relations.

The Trump administration imposed taxes on EU steel and aluminum in 2018, saying foreign products made by US allies posed a threat to US national security.

Europeans and other allies were outraged by Trump’s use of Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Act to justify tariffs, leading many to impose counter-tariffs on motorcycles, the bourbon, peanut butter, jeans and hundreds of other items made in the United States.

It was the retaliation against bourbon that hit Kentucky and other states hard, as Europe is a major export market. Higher tariffs resulted in higher prices across the Atlantic, reducing sales.

“Brown-Forman applauds the Biden administration for today’s announcement between the US and the EU regarding steel and aluminum tariffs. The deal delivers on the administration’s promise to rebuild the transatlantic alliance by removing tariffs on US whiskey and other US exports, which have been in place for more than three years. Brown-Forman looks forward to a level playing field on January 1, 2022 and continued international growth for American Whiskey. We hope that a similar result can soon be achieved between the United States and the United Kingdom, ”said Lawson Whiting, President and CEO of Brown-Forman Corp., which is one of the world’s largest distillers. to the world with brands such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee RTD, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, GlenDronach, Benriach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, Herradura, el Jimador, Nouveau Mix, Korbel, Sonoma ‑ Cutrer, Finlandia, Chambord and Fords Gin.

Overall, back and forth has hurt European producers and increased steel costs for US companies. The tariffs also failed to meet Trump’s stated goal of creating jobs at steel mills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that jobs in primary metal manufacturing increased slightly, reaching 389,100 in 2019. But factories laid off workers during the pandemic, and employment in the sector is about half of that. it was in 1990.

The European Union took steps in May to improve relations. On some retaliatory tariffs, the EU has temporarily suspended planned increases. This meant that American whiskey was subject to a 25% tax in Europe, instead of a planned 50% tax. Both sides faced a deadline in December to avoid the higher tax rate.

The host of the summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, on Saturday evening expressed his “great satisfaction” with the tariff agreement. The decision “confirms the ongoing strengthening of already close transatlantic relations and the gradual overcoming of the protectionism of recent years,” he said.

The announcement was also greeted by Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, after what he called “three very difficult years of slumping American whiskey exports.”

“The lifting of this tariff burden on American whiskeys not only stimulates American distillers and farmers, but also supports the recovery of restaurants, bars and distilleries in the EU hit hard by the pandemic,” Swonger said.


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