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NOTES

November 30, 1987

U.S. liquor makers and marketers are insisting that Japan begin taking measures to change "its discriminatory tax and grading system for imported distilled spirits." The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States met recently with U.S. government officials after the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade council concluded in early November that Japan's present system is protectionist and requires change.

"Foreign liquor products may at long last be able to compete on equal terms with local products in the Japanese market," said F. A. Meister, president of the trade group.

The GATT ruling requires that Japan introduce a single-rate tax based on alcohol content to replace its system of taxing imported and domestic liquor on a grading system that puts U.S. liquor in the most expensive premium category resulting in a tax up to seven times higher than Japanese liquor.

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