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American whiskey exports hit record high in 2023, DISCUS reports

2023 proved to be a successful year for American spirit exports. US spirits and American whiskeys broke new sales records following the lifting of retaliatory tariffs, according to an American Spirits Export Report from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
The report states that long-term growth of US spirits exports is due to the range of trade agreements that eliminated import tariffs and opened many foreign markets for distilled spirits. Other influential factors include consumer shifts in key exports, the continued reopening of the global hospitality sector, and an increase in US distilleries.
Rob Maron, DISCUS vice president of international trade, said: “This latest report shows that US exports are continuing to rebuild after plummeting from the devastating retaliatory tariffs on American spirits imposed by the EU and UK.
“The tariffs imposed from 2018-2021 as part of two separate disputes between the US, EU, and UK have since been suspended or removed, presenting US spirits producers with an opportunity to recapture lost market share in some of the US. Over the span of two years, American whiskey exports to the EU surged by more than 60 per cent, climbing from US$439 million in 2021 to $705 million in 2023.”
In December 2023, the EU announced it would continue the suspension of tariffs on American whiskeys in the steel and aluminium dispute until 31 March 2025. The EU was the largest export market for US spirits in 2023.
Maron added: “The EU’s 15-month tariff suspension is welcome news, but the uncertainty for the future continues to hold craft distillers back from exporting their spirits.”
The report found that American whiskeys were leading overall spirits exports from the US. In value terms, American whiskeys accounted for 63 per cent of all spirits exports in 2023, and 34 per cent in volume terms.
Earlier this year, another DISCUS report found that American whiskeys are helping drive spirit sales within the US.

6 March 2024 - Alec McDonnell