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Zamora Co, Mast-Jagermeister hit out at "unfair" liqueur levies

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The owners of some of Europe's leading liqueurs have hit out at new US tariffs, calling them "unfair and discriminatory".

Mast-Jagermeisters namesake liqueur will be affected by the new US tariffs

Mast-Jagermeister's namesake liqueur will be affected by the new US tariffs

Spain's Zamora Co and German group Mast-Jagermeister attacked the levies, unveiled last week, which affect their brands but not leading liqueurs from other European countries. As they currently stand, the tariffs add a 25% import duty to liqueurs from Spain, Germany, the UK and Italy. Liqueurs from France, such as Campari Group's Grand Marnier, are not on the list.

Zamora's Spanish wine brands will also be subject to the tax.

Zamora CEO Emilio Restoy, whose company owns the Licor 43 and Villa Massa Limoncello liqueurs, said tariffs generate a "competitive disadvantage" for European countries against others that are not affected. He also complained that the taxes hit products in a sector unrelated to the one the dispute is about. The tariffs are the result of a long-running battle between the EU and US over aeroplane subsidies.

"[The new tax] is, from our point of view, totally unfair and discriminatory," Restoy said.

He added: "Unfair because it is an additional obstacle for Spanish wineries, because of a war that has nothing to do with our sector; and discriminatory because it does not affect all European producing countries that sell in the US, which generates an obvious artificial distortion and a competitive disadvantage against our colleagues in other European countries that will not be affected by this policy."

Mast-Jagermeister told just-drinks it has been monitoring the trade conflict and is "prepared for all eventualities".

The company said: "We very much regret the extent of the trade conflict and hope that it will soon be resolved. In our world of international premium spirits, free global trade reflects consumers' needs. It is the driver of healthy competition and economic success. Recent events contradict this idea."

Diageo, which owns the Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur, told just-drinks it will wait for the finalised list of tariff targets before commenting.

Major spirits brands dodge the US tariff bullet... for now - Analysis


Sectors: Spirits, Wine

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