Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

SHUT DOWN, SIP LESS?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

How the US government’s shut down is wreaking havoc with the spirits industry
By Francine Cohe
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Washington DC with monument in background quiet

Think that just because you’re not one of the 800,000 “non-essential personnel” furloughed during the government shut down this week that you and your hospitality/liquor industry brethren and the customers you serve won’t feel the sting? Think again.

While you’re all still expected to be at your job as normal, and it doesn’t seem evident that anything much has changed on a day to day basis, OND sales numbers, product innovation, and revenue (brand and tax revenue) is going to be down this year. Not to mention the possibility of product shortages. There’s no telling yet just how hard we’ll be hit. But it’s certain you’ll see the impact in some way.

Though it is highly unlikely you’re in the same boat as Allison Evanow of Square One Organic Spirits (www.squareoneorganicspirits.com) and Brian Facquet of Prohibition Distillery (www.prohibitiondistillery.com), two craft distillers in the delegation organized by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (www.discus.org) to present their handcrafted products to VIPs at Berlin’s Bar Convent next week who were just notified that the venue had changed from the American Embassy to the Berlin Hilton thanks to our legislators not coming to consensus, the impact of this government shut down won’t go unnoticed.

Maybe it’ll be noticeable bare spots on your shelves because imported products are tied up at port. That’s a problem that Lizzie Asher, President of Macchu Pisco (www.macchupisco.com), is presently facing. Or maybe you’re a retailer awaiting holiday VAPs to fill your shelves in one of the busiest selling seasons of the year and those new products simply aren’t available. Producers who live and breathe for those on and off premise account sales are certainly feeling it now. Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Single Cask Nation (www.singlecasknation.com) notes, “Single Cask Nation has product sitting at the Glenfarclas distillery that cannot be imported before TTB approval is received. Further, our US-sourced Chanukah releases are delayed while we wait to

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SEND THEM OUR BOURBON

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

NEWS RELEASE
DISCUS: Congressional Approval of Free Trade Agreements
Will Increase Exports and Support U.S. Jobs

WASHINGTON – The Distilled Spirits Council said today Congressional approval of free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama will lead to significant increases in American distilled spirits exports, while contributing to job growth in the U.S.

“Market opening agreements such as these are critical to improving our competitiveness in the global distilled spirits marketplace and to growing jobs in the United States” said Dr. Peter Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council President and CEO.

“Beneficial provisions contained in these historic agreements will help to significantly increase U.S. spirits exports, especially Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, in these rapidly growing export markets,” he added. “America makes great spirits products, and adult consumers around the globe should be able to enjoy them unencumbered by tariffs or other market-distorting barriers.”

Under the agreements, all three trading partners have agreed to eliminate tariffs on U.S. distilled spirits upon implementation or over five to ten years, depending on the product.

“These agreements will level the playing field for U.S. spirits and, in some cases, actually provide U.S. spirits a competitive advantage,” Cressy added. “For example, as soon as the U.S.-Korea FTA enters into force, the current 20% tariff on Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey will be completely eliminated. This is particularly important since Korea is one the largest spirits markets in the world.”

In addition to removing tariff barriers, all three agreements will protect Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the U.S. This will further expand international recognition that Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey must be made in America according to U.S. standards. These products account for approximately 66% of total U.S. spirits exports worldwide.

“We are extremely grateful to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture for the excellent results they achieved for distilled spirits in these agreements,” Cressy concluded. “The U.S. spirits industry looks forward to prompt implementation of the FTAs in order to begin reaping the benefits they provide.”

Over the past 10 years, global U.S. spirits exports have more than doubled; in 2010, the value of total U.S. spirits exports exceeded $1 billion for the fourth consecutive year. The value of U.S. spirits exports to Korea, Colombia and Panama collectively has grown to $16 million in 2010, representing a 97% increase since 2006.

****The Distilled Spirits Council is the trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States.