As part of its reassessment of current trade deals, the Trump administration has its eyes set on a steel import tariff, one that, should the United States impose it, would likely cause Europe to hit back—targeting the bourbon whiskey industry, among others.
First, President Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs meant to hurt China. But the steel tariff—his latest focus—would hurt Europe, too, because allies such as Germany also provide steel to the U.S. And the European Union doesn't plan on taking this proposed tariff sitting down. According to a report in The Financial Times, the EU would strike back by imposing their own tariffs—on dairy, orange juice, and whiskey.
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Now, second, bourbon is only produced in the U.S., and European countries buy a lot of it. In fact, the EU bought about 59 percent of bourbon exports last year alone, data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States shows. Without those sales, the bourbon whiskey industry—which is based in Kentucky—could seriously suffer.