USDA grants DISCUS $ 1.12 million to promote U.S. spirits exports

By the Bourbon flight

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced that it had received $ 1,121,789 through its partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) ( USDA) to promote US spirits exports in 2022, an increase of nearly 100% over funding in 2021. levels.

“DISCUS’s export promotion program continues to generate big results for US distillers and has been of tremendous benefit to small, artisanal stills looking to expand into overseas markets,” said Charles McEntee, Director of Export Promotion of DISCUS. “Since 2014, DISCUS’s MAP activities have directly generated nearly $ 6 million in new exports for craft stills across the United States. “

McEntee said the total exports resulting directly from DISCUS’s export promotion activities increased from $ 625,000 between July 2019 and June 2020 to $ 1,224,000 between July 2020 and June 2021.

DISCUS began participating in the program in 2006 and has organized spirits promotions in cooperation with USDA in 20 overseas markets. Since then, total U.S. spirits exports have grown by almost 66%, from $ 831 million in 2006 to $ 1.4 billion in 2020.

Last year, DISCUS held MAP business promotions in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Taiwan and the UK.

As part of last year’s MAP program, DISCUS hosted a series of mobile and virtual tasting tours featuring American spirits. Over 300 hospitality and media industry members in major export markets have signed up and received tasting kits containing samples and information brochures (English and translated) from US distilleries seeking entry or to develop in local markets.

USDA officials have indicated that this significant increase in funding is a testament to the excellent work of the DISCUS Export Promotion Team, which was able to pivot and find some very creative ways to continue promoting exports of distilled spirits. Americans despite the enormous challenges during the pandemic, ”said Christine LoCascio, Head of Public Policy at DISCUS. “The MAP program is a great example of how public-private partnerships can support the growth of small businesses across the United States. “

In addition to the MAP, DISCUS still has funding from the $ 1,215,000 grant it received in 2019 under the USDA’s Agricultural Trade Program (ATP), which was established. specifically to help farm groups that suffer from retaliatory tariffs. The ATP program expires in 2024 and the remainder of the funding will be used to supplement the MAP allocation from DISCUS.

As part of ATP, DISCUS has implemented media campaigns in Mexico, Canada, EU and UK to increase awareness among adult consumers of American whiskey and help regain lost market share by because of the retaliatory tariffs on American whiskey.

In June 2018, the EU and UK imposed a retaliatory 25% tariff on US whiskeys in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum. Exports of US whiskey to the EU, the largest export market for the US spirits industry, fell 37% from $ 702 million to $ 440 million (2018-2020) and exports of US whiskey to the UK, the fourth largest market, fell 53%, from $ 150 million to $ 71 million (2018-2020).

On October 30, 2021, the US and the EU announced an agreement to remove retaliatory tariffs on US whiskeys as part of the January 1, 2022 steel-aluminum dispute deal. The UK continues to impose retaliatory tariffs on American whiskeys.

Through the MAP and ATP programs, DISCUS seeks to facilitate increased exports from small US distillers and promote the US spirits industry by educating the hospitality industry, adult consumers and the media in key international markets about taste, the heritage and style of American distilled spirits.

DISCUS promotions focus on the American spirits range, but with particular emphasis on the unique qualities of American whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and American Single Malt, which represent the great majority of US spirits exports to the world.

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