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Kentucky congressmen call for end to bourbon tariffs

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A group of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are joining forces to stop a huge tariff increase on exported bourbon.

A letter headed up by Congressman Andy Barr and John Yarmuth, and 48 others in the House is asking the Biden administration to work with the European Union and the United Kingdom to immediately suspend tariffs on American whiskey.

A trade dispute prior to President Biden’s administration boosted a tax on the export to 25%. It was at zero.

If no deal is made by the first of June, the tax will double to 50%. All of this could effect the thousands of jobs bourbon gives to Kentucky.

“We just need to keep communicating to them that this has been going on for two years. That’s two years too long in our opinion. We were at zero tariffs before. We would like to get back to zero tariffs as quickly as possible before more long-term damage is done,” President of the Kentucky Distillers Association Eric Gregory said.

Since the tariffs were imposed, American whiskey exports to the European Union have declined by 37%.

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