Kentucky Distillers Welcome Delay On Doubling Of E.U. Whiskey Tariffs
For Immediate Release – May 17, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The historic Kentucky Distillers’ Association today applauded the joint U.S. and E.U.
decision to delay the doubling of tariffs on Bourbon and American whiskey that were set to automatically
increase June 1.
“This is welcome news as distillers in Kentucky and across America were perilously close to a crippling
blow on European exports,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “This gives both sides some breathing room
to return to free and fair trade and once again level the playing field for Kentucky’s signature spirit.
“We deeply appreciate the leadership the Biden Administration, Congressmen John Yarmuth and Andy
Barr, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and all global leaders who are working to resolve this ongoing trade
dispute that has slashed exports and jeopardized the certainty of our largest overseas markets.”
Tariffs imposed on U.S. spirits slashed Kentucky Bourbon exports by 35% in 2020, with shipments to the
European Union plummeting by nearly 50%. Sales to the U.K., formerly Kentucky’s largest market in the
EU, also have been decimated by 50%.
Distilleries in 36 states exported whiskey in 2020, with Kentucky ranking second behind Tennessee. Total
American Whiskey exports reported a similar downturn, declining 29% from 2018 to 2020. U.S. whiskey
exports to the EU fell sharply 37% in that time and sank 53% to the U.K.
“We are obviously thrilled that discussions have started and both sides are committed to resolving this issue
by the end of the year,” Gregory said. “We look forward to getting back to zero tariffs and what we do best
– crafting the finest Bourbon for all the world to enjoy.”
For more information, contact: Eric Gregory, KDA President, at [email protected].
KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT®, BOURBON TRAIL™ and KENTUCKY BOURBON HALL OF FAME® are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please enjoy our fine spirits like a true Kentuckian – Responsibly.