Never before has a scenario demonstrated that the interdependence of nations, citizens and companies as the coronavirus has. This disorder is worldwide and so too should be our answer.
SpiritsEUROPE and our associates are attempting to assist in the ways we understand best. Distillers around Europe are changing their production to create and contribute alcohol for hand sanitizers to help combat the spread of the deadly disease.
While everybody is professionally concentrated today on the instant health emergency in hand, and on saving packages and emergency investment programs, policymakers must also think about how they could act today to eliminate barriers to some swift economic recovery once the crisis passes.
The interconnected nature of the nations (which allowed this virus to propagate quickly) will be the antidote to the catastrophic financial consequences we could anticipate. Global commerce is the accelerant which will get our savings moving, nevertheless, artificial obstacles, levied in an exceedingly different geopolitical circumstance, stay.
For our industry, the most obvious problem is the introduction of a 25% tariff on American bourbon from the EU in 2018 and quite a few EU-made spirits from the US in 2019. These barriers to global trade blindsided our industry and resulted in debilitating drops in earnings, well before the COVID-19 catastrophe. Exports of European souls influenced (by way of instance, Irish cream, Italian and German liqueurs, single malt Scotch) have fallen by a similar amount.
These contractions in earnings will likely be compounded by COVID-19. A number of our member companies have announced profit warnings; we all anticipate that this is replicated throughout the industry in the forthcoming weeks.
While our leaders can’t finish the coronavirus immediately, they could get the job done today to raise barriers to our economic recovery, such as the EU-US tariffs. Commissioner Hogan has shown itself to be a powerful defender of EU companies and agriculture, and also a powerful advocate for fair and free trade.
We hope the Commissioner will today, more than ever, prioritize locating a speedy resolution to this unnecessary trade disputes he does all he can to encourage his colleagues at the European Commission in their attempts to stem the individual costs of their coronavirus crisis.