In case you missed it, Senator Cortez Masto is pushing the Biden Administration to protect tens of thousands of jobs that rely on American whiskey, spirits, and wine producers. Her bipartisan letter calls for the administration to negotiate the removal of all retaliatory tariffs on all American-made whiskey, spirits, and wines.
By Nicole Goodkind
A few weeks ago, Before the Bell wrote about a threat to the $5.1 billion American whiskey industry.
The EU, the largest export market for American whiskey, is set to impose a 50% tariff on imports of the golden liquor on January 1.
Spirit industry advocates say that would be a devastating blow to a growing part of the US economy. The move is all part of a retaliatory package of tariffs being imposed on US goods by the EU in relation to a dispute over steel and aluminum.
On Tuesday, a group of bipartisan lawmakers, led by democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, sent a letter to the Biden Administration, urging officials to resolve the dispute with the EU by the end of the year and avoid what insiders are saying will be “dramatic” damage to the industry.
“The American spirits industry supports over 19,000 jobs in Nevada and funnels billions into our economy each year,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’m urging the administration to act now to eliminate these devastating tariffs on American exports and stand up for American workers.”
The letter, shared exclusively with CNN, was signed by 12 US Senators also including Indiana republican Todd Young, Virginia democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, Kentucky republican Rand Paul, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Tennessee republicans Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn, West Virginia democrat Joe Manchin, Kansas republican Roger Marshall, and [Alabama] republican Katie Britt.
“Spirits have had a significant cultural impact in our country, and currently have a profound impact on the US economy. In 2022 alone, US distilled spirit exports reached $2.06 billion. But the impact of the retaliatory tariffs was devastating… Our belief is that the imposition of additional tariffs on this industry is detrimental,” the senators wrote.
“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.” ###