U.S. tariffs that took effect on Friday on iconic European products including single-malt Scotch whisky have already prompted plenty of grumbling from American consumers. But the more important constituency watching what might yet turn into a 21st century Whiskey Rebellion is actually in Beijing.
President Donald Trump’s attack on some of European Union’s boozier exports is the result of a long-running fight over the industrial leg-up the U.S. and EU countries have given to Boeing and Airbus over the years. In a world where dirigiste China’s vast web of corporate subsidies from cheap electricity to cheap capital are the target of concern on both sides of the Atlantic, a fight over their own subsidies undermines the ability to join forces.
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