The U.S. liquor industry says big developments in international markets will boost shipments abroad this year after projected exports in 2011 reached a new record.
The Distilled Spirits Council said implementation of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement will remove a 20 percent tariff on bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, boosting shipments to Korea. The World Trade Organization also finalized a ruling that the Philippines' excise tax on spirits violates WTO rules.
Those developments, the group said, follow an estimated 16.5 percent year-over-year increase in exports of U.S. distilled spirits in 2011 to $1.34 billion. The value of whiskey exports expanded 13.6 percent, the council said.
The results, projected from 11-month totals, marked the second straight year distilled spirits have grown at a double-digit pace since falling in 2009. Spirits exports have more than doubled since 2003, the council said, citing figures from the International Trade Council.