Europes brewers fear they are missing out on US exports

Europe's brewers fear they are missing out on US exports

Smaller brewers in Europe have called for a “level playing field” with their US brethren because the latter enjoy more favourable tax conditions on their exports.

Trade organisation The Brewers of Europe said earlier today (7 March) the tax relief granted to small brewers in the US on their exports to the European Union should also apply in the opposite direction. The US and the EU are set to start the fourth round of negotiations for the 'Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership' trade agreement next week, with the trade body asking for the matter to be covered in the talks.

“Just as small brewers from the US can receive significant discounts when exporting to the EU, the ambition is that small brewers from the EU benefit from the same discount in the US as the domestic brewers.”

While larger breweries pay a federal excise tax of US$18 per barrel, small brewers pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they brew, Brewers of Europe said. “Based upon the 2m US-barrel threshold, the majority of Europe’s 4,500 breweries could be eligible for the same level of discount as domestic US brewers.

“A levelling of the playing field is likely to be of particular benefit to low-volume, high-value exports and make a major difference in the viability of European exports, which already sell at a premium. The move is likely to give a boost to EU exports, be relatively low cost to the US, enhance consumer choice for American beer drinkers and encourage greater collaboration between trade partners on both sides of the Atlantic.

The next round of negotiations start in Brussels on Monday.