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KDA Statement On Removal Of U.K. Tariffs On Bourbon

March 22, 2022

For Immediate Release – March 22, 2022

After a four-year dry spell, it’s time to raise a toast.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its 50 member companies today congratulated United States and United Kingdom trade negotiators on reaching a deal to drop retaliatory tariffs on Kentucky Bourbon and American Whiskey. 

Imposed in 2018, the tariffs reversed what had previously been tremendous growth in Kentucky Bourbon exports to the U.K., costing distillers, industry partners and farm families hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s most historic and treasured industries. It is a $9 billion annual economic and tourism engine that sustains 22,500 good-paying jobs in the Commonwealth with a $1.23 billion payroll.

Kentucky distillers also are in the middle of a 10-year, $5.2 billion building spree to meet the growing global thirst for America’s only native spirit. In the next four years, the Bluegrass State’s distilleries expect to invest $3.3 billion in new facilities and expansions of existing operations. 

There are now more than 10.3 million barrels of Bourbon aging in Kentucky, a record amount.

The KDA thanks the Biden Administration’s steadfast leadership including direct negotiations by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. As well, the KDA recognizes and appreciates the critical roles of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman John Yarmuth and the rest of the Kentucky delegation for working to resolve this years-long trade dispute and to restore fairness in the U.K.’s market for Kentucky’s signature distilled spirits industry.

With the suspension of these tariffs, we look forward to rekindling bourbon enthusiasm in the U.K. and helping our legendary distillers further share the finest Bourbon for all the world to enjoy.

–   KDA President Eric Gregory

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly