Kentucky Distillers’ Association Issues Statement on Removal of Tariffs

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association this week released a statement regarding the removal of tariffs on Kentucky Bourbon and other spirits:

After three long years, it’s time to raise a glass. 

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its 51 member companies are thrilled at the announcement that the U.S. and the E.U. have agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs on Kentucky Bourbon and American Whiskey. And it couldn’t have come at a better time: the 25% tariff was set to double on Dec. 1.

These unfortunate tariffs have slashed exports of Kentucky Bourbon by 50% to the E.U. and the United Kingdom, costing distillers, industry partners and farm families hundreds of millions of dollars. Kentucky Bourbon exports had enjoyed double-digit growth for a decade before the tariffs were imposed in 2018.

Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s most historic and treasured industries, a $8.6 billion economic and tourism engine that generates more than 20,000 good-paying jobs each year with a $1 billion payroll and welcomes nearly two million people a year to the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences. 

Kentucky distillers also are in the middle of a $5.1 billion building spree to meet the growing global thirst for America’s only native spirit. There are now a record 10.3 million barrels of Bourbon aging in Kentucky, the most in the Commonwealth’s 200-year distilling history.

The KDA thanks the steadfast leadership of the Biden Administration, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman John Yarmuth and officials in Europe for their tireless efforts to resolve this ongoing trade dispute and to restore fairness in overseas markets for Kentucky’s signature distilled spirits industry.

With the suspension of the E.U. tariffs, we urge leaders from both the U.S. and U.K. to resolve their own tariff dispute so our legendary distillers can return at long last to doing what they do best – crafting the finest Bourbon for all the world to enjoy.

    – KDA President Eric Gregory

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