KCRG: Local Distillery Feeling the Effects of Tariff Retaliation

SWISHER, Iowa (KCRG-TV9)– This spring, The United States is going back and forth on tariffs with trade partners around the world.

An Eastern Iowa distillery says tariffs the European Union put on bourbon will have a big effect on them.

The tariff will be 25%. It’s in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery owner, Jeff Quint says they boosted
their bourbon production over the last couple of years, with the goal being to start shipping it overseas.

He says, “If you look at the top 10 buyers of American whiskey, outside the United States, five of them are in the EU (European Union.”

They have barrels of bourbon ready to go to France and Denmark in a couple of weeks, but they got an email Thursday from their French partners wanting to talk about the tariffs.

Quint says, “We don’t know if they’re calling to cancel the order, or if they’re calling to get some type of pricing concession, but I think we will have to have a strategic discussion.”

Quint says the tariffs could have an effect on the bourbon business domestically.

He explains, “It will either raise the prices domestically, or certainly cut our profits because if you have the same amount of whiskey, and now you have to flood it all into the U.S instead of sending it globally I think you’re probably gonna see a lot of people competing to get their whiskey ahead of yours.”

Quint is a taking a wait and see approach, and hopes a fair trade deal comes out of this tariff tussle.

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