Washington, D.C.— U.S. Representative Andy Barr (KY-06), Co-Chair of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus, is celebrating the suspension of European Union tariffs on American whiskey exports.  Representative Barr organized a bipartisan letter with over forty Members of Congress requesting that the Biden Administration negotiate a suspension and ultimate removal of these tariffs.  

“The agreement reached between the United States and the European Union is a huge boost for distillers in Kentucky and throughout the nation,” said Representative Barr.  “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus, I led multiple letters to both the Trump and Biden Administrations pushing for the full removal of these tariffs.  I will always be an advocate for enhanced access to international markets for our distillers, so that they can provide Kentucky spirits and the world’s best bourbon to countries across the globe.”

“This is a great day for our industry. Representative Barr is a steadfast supporter of our industry and we are grateful to have him on the frontlines fighting for Kentucky distillers,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.  

This is Representative Barr’s second major victory on legislation for the bourbon industry in less than a calendar year.  Representative Barr was instrumental in securing a major victory in the 2020 year-end COVID-19 relief bill for Kentucky’s bourbon industry.  That legislation included the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which contained the Aged Distilled Spirits Act, championed by Representative Barr.  CBMTRA created a level playing field for bourbon distillers, allowing them to deduct interest expenses associated with production in the year it is paid, not when the bourbon is bottled and sold. This legislation also lowers the Federal Excise Tax (FET) rates for distillers and aged spirits. These FET rates were set to expire on December 31, 2020, unless Congress acted to make them permanent or provide an extension.