Trade wars: when booze gets banned

With the recent spat between Alberta and British Columbia and now the EU and US seeing booze thrown into the crosshairs of trade wars, when else has alcohol been the victim of diplomatic falling outs?

Earlier this month, the spectre of a trade war between the US and European Union over higher tariffs on steel imports, led the EU to warn it could raise tariffs in turn on various US imports including “certain whiskies”.

With President Donald Trump apparently of the opinion that trade wars are a “good thing”, there is now concern in other countries that their products may be caught up in the tit-for-tat tariff hikes.

The Irish Taosieach, Leo Varadkar, recently said he was concerned that Irish whiskey could be the next to be targeted.

“When I hear bourbon whiskey I think the next response might be tariffs against Irish whiskey,” he told the Irish press ahead of his trip to the US this week.

And now, with the UK demanding explanations from Russia after one Russian defector was poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury and another exile was found murdered in his London home, perhaps Scotch whisky could be in for a rough time as well.

These threatened bans are not the first time in history that wine or spirits have been the target of trade disputes, however, so what other notable examples are there?

One Response to “Trade wars: when booze gets banned”

  1. Bourbon saw a growth spurt in the Revolutionary War at the cost of rum.
    Cause: The British blockaded the routes to and fro the Caribbean, so molasses
    and rum could not get to Boston etc.
    Before the war, rum was the favorite tipple of the Americans when it came to liquor.

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