Here’s Why the Price of Scotch Is About to Go Way Up

A series of retaliatory tariffs between the E.U. and U.S. is bad news for drinkers

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You enjoy an expensive single malt?

You’re about to enjoy it a lot more. Sorry, you’re about to enjoy it for a lot more — thanks to a 25 percent tariff on all single malt Scotch imports just imposed by the Trump administration.

Scotch is part of a larger package of European goods being hit with tariffs, which includes Parmesan cheese, Irish whiskey, olives, wool clothing and aircraft. These tariffs also arrive with the official approval of the World Trade Organization and come as part of a penalty against an EU subsidies program for the aircraft company Airbus. That dispute dates back to 2004.

It also comes on the heels of the EU imposing a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on American whiskey imports, a response to steel and aluminum tariffs. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, exports of American whiskey declined 21 since the the move by the EU.

The trade group estimates a potential loss of 13,000 jobs in the U.S. due to the newly increased prices. “These spirits come to the U.S. market through a supply chain of predominately U.S. owned and operated companies,” notes Matt Dogali, CEO of the American Distilled Spirits Association. “This is a tax paid by American businesses and American consumers.”

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