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Statement by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association  on the Trade/Tariff Issue

March 8, 2018



“While questions remain about the Administration’s Proclamation on tariffs today, we’re encouraged that it appears to establish a process for granting exemptions to certain trading partners, which could potentially alleviate any retaliatory actions against Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.


“The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has long been an advocate of free and fair trade which has catapulted our legendary craft into an unparalleled chapter of global success.


“As a uniquely American product, Bourbon and distilled spirits accounted for more than $450 million in Kentucky exports worldwide in 2017, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. Of that, nearly $200 million was exported to EU countries, which has been growing at a rate topping 10 percent annually over the last five years.


“Bourbon is a thriving $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky, generating 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll of $800 million. Spirits production and consumption pours more than $825 million into federal, state, and local tax coffers every year.


“We remain hopeful that a long-term solution can be found to avoid a costly trade war and protect our allies and partnerships around the world, which will continue to benefit spirits producers and consumers for years to come.”


  • Eric Gregory, President