Jan de Grave / Director - Communications.
19/05/2014 | Economy
Brewers reiterate need for level-playing field in TTIP
Chancellor Merkel takes up Brewers’ cause in EU-US Trade Talks
19 May 2014 – As the 5th round of talks between the EU and the United States on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership begins today in Arlington, Virginia, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed the call from the Brewers of Europe to end the discrimination for small European breweries exporting to the US.
Speaking earlier this month following a meeting with President Obama, Chancellor Merkel responded to scepticism about the need for such a deal by referring to the difficulties experienced by smaller German breweries exporting to the US.
Currently, small US brewers exporting to the EU are eligible for a reduced tax rate both in the US and the EU, whilst a European brewer exporting to the US gets no such break.
Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said: “Just as small brewers from the US can receive significant discounts when exporting to the EU, our wish is that small brewers from the EU, which export around 8 million hectolitres of beer to the US annually, benefit from the same discount in the US as the domestic brewers.”
Mr Bergeron continued: “With brewers from 26 out of 28 EU countries already exporting to the US and the huge majority of Europe’s 5000 breweries meeting the US small brewer definition (annual production of up to 2 million US barrels), an agreement would remove a considerable burden imposed on the 250 small European breweries that already export to the US and open the way for other small brewers.”
Having been discussed during the 3rd round of negotiations, The Brewers of Europe understands that this issue remains firmly on the table in the latest round of talks, which are due to last throughout this week. Indeed, the need for a level playing field for Europe’s brewers was also taken up as one of five European examples in the publication on SMEs produced jointly by the EU and US following the 4th round of TTIP talks in March this year.
Mr Bergeron concluded: “An agreement on this issue would provide a much-needed boost, not just for Europe’s brewing sector, but also the US consumer wishing to access a wide-range of European products. An increase in European beer imports would also mean the US fiscal authorities should quickly recoup any short-term loss in tax revenues from the levelling of the playing field”.
Simon Spillane, Communications Senior Advisor, The Brewers of Europe
+32 (0)2 551 1810; firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Brewers of Europe
Founded in 1958 and based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe unites the national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries.