Irish Spirits Association (ISA) has today attended the W9 Summit in Kentucky, which is taking place today with the world’s 'nine leading whiskey associations to 'discuss trade issues which threatens the Irish spirits industry's growth.
The group 'will today join with whiskey and spirits associations from nine other 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, which is a major threat to the Irish whiskey industry,' The ISA said in a statement.
The group outlined that 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 very real, particularly for the Irish whiskey industry which is heavily reliant on the US market.
W9 Summit Meeting
The W9 Summit meeting is being attended by Aoife Clarke, Chair of the ISA and Senior International Director of Public Affairs at Beam Suntory, which own Cooley Distillery in Co. Louth. Cooley Distillery produces Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell and Connemara brands of Irish whiskey.
Speaking from the event Aoife Clarke said: “Whiskey brands, in particular Irish Whiskey, are increasingly popular among consumers around the world. Globally, the whiskey industry is a prime example of the long-standing benefits of free and fair trade.”
“No one ever wins in a trade war where consumers, distillery workers, farmers, bartenders and wait staff are among the victims. We call on all sides to continue dialogue and 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.
Aoife Clarke added: “The global spirits industry see the threat of Irish-only health warning labels a barrier to trade both in and out of Ireland.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.