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US-EU trade war could 'devastate' Irish whiskey industry: IWA

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-02 23:49
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DUBLIN -- The escalating trade war between the United States and the European Union (EU) could potentially devastate the Irish whiskey industry, head of Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has said.

William Lavelle told local media RTE Friday that currently there are no tariffs on Irish whiskey sold in the United States. However, he said that the EU is proposing placing tariffs on the US whiskey in retaliation for the US placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

He said there is a significant fear among local whiskey distilleries and traders that the United States in turn would impose tariffs on whiskey, which he said would be "devastating" for the Irish whiskey industry.

According to the IWA statistics, Ireland sold 8.7 million 9-litre cases of whiskey in 2016, which is equal to more than 100 million bottles of whiskey, of which 43.92 million bottles were sold to the United States, making it the largest importer of the Irish whiskey.

In 2016, the total exports of the Irish whiskey were valued at 505 million euros (589 million US dollars), of which approximately half was sold in the United States, said IWA.

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