European spirits exports declined 19% in 2020

The European spirits industry has urged governments to rebuild transatlantic ties and fight protectionist measures following a 19% export decline in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly had an impact on exports, but tariff wars with the United States also proved costly.

Trade body spiritsEUROPE revelaed the 19% drop in exports from the continent, and set out a 10-point plan to turn the situation around. The strategy focuses on fostering a more open global trading environment.

Direct general Ulrich Adam said: “In the next decade, 85% of global growth will take place outside of the EU. International trade and the ability to export our products throughout the world will be more critical than ever before, not just for our sector, but for the EU’s economy as a whole.

“When companies export and invest abroad, they export high quality standards, creating mutual benefits and paving the way for a sustainable recovery.”

“We should start by going back to tariff-free trade in spirits with the US, our first global market. Rebuilding the transatlantic alliance is a must if we want to focus on economic recovery and on tackling common challenges efficiently, through a positive and ambitious agenda, including a reform of the WTO. Going forward, we need to ensure that sectors in which the EU has a trade surplus are not brought into unrelated disputes and that trade policy acts as an enabler of sustainable growth.”

The group’s trade and economic affairs director, Pauline Bastidon, added: “Future growth in our sector will greatly depend on the EU’s capacity to rebuild transatlantic ties, maintain a constructive dialogue with China, ensure robust enforcement of commitments made by third countries, fight protectionist measures in markets holding great potential such as India and strengthen the role and relevance of WTO

“All these are shared objectives with the wider EU economy and a must to be able to put this health and economic crisis behind us all & embark on a green & sustainable transition.”