U.S. Whiskey Exporters Struggle After Year Of EU Tariffs
Foreign governments have targeted American distilleries for retaliation
When Europe's tariffs on U.S. whiskey hit in June 2018, craft distillery Mountain Laurel Spirits LLC lost 10 percent of its sales overnight as its European distributor simply stopped buying its award-winning Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey.
Foreign governments subject to U.S. President Donald Trump's trade tariffs have targeted American distilleries and their bourbon and rye whiskeys for retaliation. The industry fears new tariffs under consideration by the U.S. government could result in even higher tariffs on their products in Europe.
"We went from a marginally profitable business to breaking even," Mountain Laurel's owner and chemical engineer-turned-distiller, Herman Mihalich, said while testing his latest batch of rye whiskey in the sleepy hamlet of Bristol in southeast Pennsylvania.
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