W9 Spirit of Collaboration Summit: International meeting of leading whisky associations in Kentucky

Facing the challenges of the actual trade restrictions together

From 25. to 26 July, 2018 the leading whisky associations met for the first time at “The W9 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit“. The entry list reveals the international participation:

  • American Craft Spirits Association,
  • Spirits Council, Irish Whiskey & Spirits Associations,
  • apan Spirits & Liqueurs Producers Makers Association,
  • Scotch Whisky Association,
  • Spirits Canada,
  • SpiritsEurope,
  • The President’s Forum
  • and host The Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

In announcements during the last weeks we heard about 8 associations that would form the W8, then the American Craft Spirits Association joined the round last minute and the W9 met. There was no lack of discussion topics: The restrictions caused by tariffs and duties that come up on the international trade parquet have their effects on the import and export of whisky, too. The W9 summit should be a forum to exchange views, opinions and ideas and to develop strategies to handle the challenges of these restrictions and impending drop in sales.

Tariff war might cause long-lasting damage

The President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), Eric Gregory, said “Now more than ever our groups need to be communicating directly and, hopefully, speaking with a unified voice” and “The global whiskey industry has been enjoying an unprecedented level of success to the benefit of our legendary producers, consumers, countries and local communities. It’s critical that we maintain this momentum and ensure that world leaders understand the deep economic impact of whiskey and how it will be affected if this unfortunate trade war escalates or continues to extend.”

Resolution approved

They couldn’t agree on who makes the best whiskey, or whether it’s spelled “whiskey” or “whisky”, Gregory said in a press release after the summit, but a visible result of the conference is a common resolution of the members. This resolution stresses the importance of an open and fair trade for the future of the whisky industry. In this regard the agreement was welcomed that was achieved on 25 July between the EU and the US to de-escalate the situation and hope rises that the tariffs will fall. This summit won’t remain the only one of this kind but is planned to take place annually.

The text of the resolution was published here on the website of distillerytrail.com.