Irish Whiskey Association joins call to de-escalate trade war

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The Irish Whiskey Association has joined forces with some of the world's other great whiskey-producing nations to appeal for common sense and calm in the looming trade war between the USA and other countries, as impending tariffs threaten to impact the global alchohol industry.



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26 July 2018

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The Irish Spirits Association has joined with associations from nine other major spirit-producing nations, to call upon global leaders to de-escalate the current tariff conflict and come together to stave-off the potential impacts of a prolonged trade war. Any such trade war would pose a major threat to Ireland’s whiskey industry.

The joint call was made at the W9 Summit in Kentucky, which is taking place this week.

US whiskeys have been hit with a 25% tariff by the EU in response to President Trump’s trade policies. Fears of further retaliation are real, particularly for the Irish whiskey industry which relies heavily on exports to the USA.

The ISA is represented at the conference by Aoife Clarke, director of Public Affairs at Beam Suntory and the Association Chair. Beam Suntory is the owner of Cooley Distillery in Co. Louth, which produces the Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell and Connemara brands of Irish whiskey.

“Whiskey brands, in particular Irish Whiskey, are increasingly popular among consumers around the world,” Clarke said. “Globally, the whiskey industry is a prime example of the long-standing benefits of free and fair trade.”

Clarke said that there are no winners in a trade war, only victims: consumers, distillery workers, farmers, bartenders and waiting staff. “We call on all sides to continue dialogue,” she said, “and to work to resolve the current situation in a timely manner. Now is the time when de-escalation is needed. The costs to Europe and Ireland would be much too high otherwise.”

While discussion at today’s summit will focus primarily on the tariff situation, other trade issues will be discussed including Brexit and, in the Irish context, the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.



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