Leaders of Global Whiskey Groups Meet, Show Unity Over Fair Trade

In the face of growing concerns in all corners about how escalating tariffs and trade wars might impact production and sales of whisk(e)y, particularly bourbon, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association last week invited leadership from various global trade groups in the greater whisk(e)y industry to Kentucky to meet. The focus was to find common voice over a desire for open and fair trade of spirits. And that is what it looks like they did.

At the “W9 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit,” as it came to be called, the group unanimously approved a resolution declaring open and fair trade to be essential for the future of the iconic industry. The resolution also welcomed the commitment announced this week by the U.S. and the EU to de-escalate the current trade dispute and address tariff issues, and calls for the removal of tariffs.

Global whisk(e)y leaders at the W9 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit (image via Kentucky Distillers’ Association)

Participating trade associations included a wide cross section of the global whiskey industry as a whole. They were:

  • American Craft Spirits Association
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.
  • Irish Whiskey & Spirits Associations
  • Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association
  • Kentucky Distillers’ Association
  • Scotch Whisky Association
  • Spirits Canada
  • spiritsEUROPE
  • The Presidents’ Forum

“In Kentucky, we like to say that bourbon brings people together,” said KDA President Eric Gregory in a prepared statement. “It’s actually a lesson that our legendary industry learned long ago – that we can accomplish more by working together than standing apart. The global whiskey industry has been built on centuries of friendship, partnership and kinship.”

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The summit concluded with a ceremonial planting of a white oak tree on Whiskey Row in front of the Frazier History Museum, home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center. The center is opening at the end of August as the official starting point of the KDA’s world-famous KBT tours.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...