Whiskey summit planned in hopes of defusing trade conflicts

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Kentucky Bourbon Tales

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A top whiskey industry official in Kentucky says he’s worried that global trade conflicts will escalate, with the state’s bourbon producers caught in the crosshairs.

So he’s inviting whiskey associations across the world to meet in Kentucky to discuss ways to defuse trade disputes.

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Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory told state lawmakers Thursday that the whiskey summit will be held in Louisville next week. Gregory says he hopes the whiskey groups can speak with a “unified voice” in urging world leaders to resolve trade disputes.

Gregory says he’s worried about long-term damage to Kentucky’s bourbon industry if trade conflicts persist.

Bourbon producers face tariffs in some key markets, including the European Union. Those tariffs make their products more expensive. Kentucky producers exported nearly $200 million worth of spirits to the EU in 2017.