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The Trump administration imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, supposedly to protect U.S. national security, and the European Union and the U.K. imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. whiskey. The Biden administration has so far kept the steel and aluminum tariffs, so the tariffs on U.S. whiskey are staying too.

Senate Republican leader pressed the new U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, on this issue at her confirmation hearing last week: “If you ask me, the whole world could benefit from a little more Kentucky bourbon.” The Wall Street Journal story I linked above quotes her on it, too: “In some ways, this is the way the. . . system is supposed to work. You inflict pain on each other’s stakeholders to try to motivate each other to come to a resolution.”

Okay, but could we get to the resolution part of the story?

P.S. I was going to work in the old Mark Twain line that whiskey is for drinking and water for fighting over, but a quick Internet search turns up no evidence that he actually said it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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