Tremblay and Tremblay briefly discuss challenges that import brands face when competing with domestic brands–such as higher transportation/shipping costs. I’m a fan of Mexican import brands Corona and Dos Equis and I find it surprising that they can be so competitively priced in comparison to domestic craft brews despite higher transportation costs and import taxes. I looked into alcohol import taxes and found a very informative paper (written in 2010 with 2008 data, so it’s a bit dated but still interesting) that does an international comparison of import taxes on the three most important types of alcohol–beer, spirits and wine.
(it’s fairly easy to read and pretty interesting in my opinion)
For the purpose of international comparison, the author (Kym Anderson) expressed import tax as a percentage of wholesale pre-tax prices for a given volume. There is dramatic variation among countries (see Table 1) in the beer-only category. The US has quite a low import tax (reporting import/excise taxes as 1% of wholesale pre-tax price) in comparison to many other first world countries. Australia reports an incredible 76% while European countries range between 0-24%, averaging 10%.