United States and UK: Distilled Spirits Trade Commitment Reaffirmed

Provides Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey Brexit Protections

The Distilled Spirits Council enthusiastically welcomed the announcement today that the United States and United Kingdom (U.K.) reaffirmed commitments protecting the distilled spirits trade. The U.S. and the U.K. signed an agreement Jan. 31, 2019, that was announced today, to ensure that reciprocal protection for “Bourbon,” “Tennessee Whiskey,” “Scotch Whisky” and “Irish Whiskey” will continue uninterrupted whenever the U.K. leaves the European Union (EU), the so-called Brexit.

“Ensuring that our flagship spirits exports — Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey — will continue to be protected provides our companies much-needed assurances as the U.K. negotiates its departure from the EU,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Chris Swonger.

Distinctive product recognition for “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” by the EU was established through a mutual agreement with the U.S. in 1994.  Such recognition is critical to ensure that only products labeled and sold in the EU as “Bourbon” and “Tennessee Whiskey” are made in the U.S., in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations.

In 2017, the U.K. was the largest single market for American Whiskey exports, totaling almost $150 million; American Whiskey exports to the 28 members of the EU were valued at $667 million.

The Distilled Spirits Council has been working closely with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on this matter since soon after the U.K. announced it would be departing the EU.

“On behalf of all of our American Whiskey producers, we thank the U.S. government and the staff of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group for securing this important outcome,” Swonger concluded.