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Free Trade Must Be A Priority For Irish MEPs After The Next Election, Says ABFI

By Dayeeta Das
Free Trade Must Be A Priority For Irish MEPs After The Next Election, Says ABFI

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has recently highlighted the vital importance of of promoting free trade at ahead of next Friday's (24 May) European elections.

According to a statement released by the group, this would support one of Ireland's fastest growing export sectors, the drinks industry, in turn supporting Irish jobs and the Irish farmers who supply the industry.

It revealed that ahead of next Friday's European elections, ABFI, the representative body for drinks manufacturers and distributors in Ireland, has called on Irish European Parliament candidates to support the ratification of EU Free Trade deals to drive Irish drinks exports, should they be elected.

The outgoing parliament approved important major trade dells with Canada and Japan while the next Parliament is expected to consider agreements with Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and possibly the US.

These agreements have the potential to open up or expand opportunities for Irish drink products in vital markets.


ABFI has also stressed the importance of de-escalating EU-US trade disputes and removing EU tariffs on US whiskeys.

Since June 2018, US whiskeys being imported to the EU have faced a 25% tariff. These are set to double to 50% in June 2021.

Retaliatory Tariffs C

According to the statement, here remains a real and substantial hit by retaliatory tariffs.

This also leads a risk that EU liqueurs, including Irish cream liqueur, could be hit by separate retaliatory action due to a dispute over subsidies for aircraft manufacturers, it states.


US tariffs would have a devastating effect on the industry with the US being the biggest export market for Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur.

"Ireland’s drinks industry is not only significant in the national context, supporting over 90,000 jobs, but is also hugely important to the EU economy." said Patricia Callan, director of ABFI.

"Exports from the industry are worth €1.44 billion to over 140 markets worldwide. Three of the EU’s top five export categories for spirits are Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur."

"They will represent two of the top three after Brexit. Additionally, Ireland is the EU’s seventh-largest beer exporter." she said.

© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Helen Galgey. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

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