Associations representing the US and European beverage alcohol sectors submitted comments to oppose the US government’s proposal to levy additional taxes on wine, beer and spirits from the European Union (EU) and the UK.

The comments were submitted to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) by 17 associations representing the US and European beverage alcohol sectors.

In a statement, the group of US, EU, and UK beverage alcohol associations said: “Our 17 US, EU and UK associations are united in strong opposition to tariffs on beverage alcohol products.

“We are speaking with one voice in calling for the US Administration and the European Commission to remove the current tariffs on spirits and wine from the EU and UK, and American Whiskeys, and to forgo imposing any additional tariffs on beverage alcohol products.

“We hope Friday’s announcement by Airbus and the legislation passed in Washington State in March regarding civil aviation subsidies are significant steps toward the elimination of tariffs.”

Some organisations that submitted the comments include the Scotch Whisky Association, SpiritsEUROPE and a coalition of US beverage alcohol associations.

Under the USTR’s proposal, a 100% tariff has been could be imposed Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey, other Whiskeys and Grape Brandy from all EU members, as well as on spirits and beer products from the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

Tax may not be imposed on liqueurs and cordials exported from the remaining EU member countries and certain wines from all EU members and the UK.

The group added: “Beverage alcohol sectors on both sides of the Atlantic have suffered enough. These tariffs are exacerbating the incredible burden hospitality businesses are experiencing with the widespread closures of bars and restaurants due to Covid-19.

“The US and EU need to seek measures to bolster hospitality jobs, not saddle businesses with unnecessary tariffs.”