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

March 5, 2018



“As we’ve seen this morning, many aspects of the President’s proposed trade policies are not yet known or are still evolving, including whether tariffs would exempt certain trading partners. Therefore, it’s premature to speculate on the specific impact to Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry until the facts are clear.


“Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million, pours $825 million into tax coffers each year, and drives tourism through the KDA’s famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventures.


“U.S. and EU spirits exporters have enjoyed duty-free access to each other’s markets for more than two decades, which has greatly benefited both spirits producers and consumers, and has resulted in increased exports, jobs and consumer choice.


“Any efforts to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. spirits exports to the EU will jeopardize this long-standing partnership, harm consumers through higher prices and more limited product availability, and significantly threaten the distilling renaissance that is creating industry jobs and generating billions in capital investment.”


  • Eric Gregory, President