Experts are warning that US-EU trade wars could 'devastate' the Irish whiskey industry.
Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) boss William Lavelle has expressed his concerns over the escalating trade war and the effect it may have on the industry.
Lavelle told RTE that currently there are no tariffs on Irish whiskey sold in the United States. However, with the mounting trade war between the US and the European Union, the EU is proposing to place tariffs on US whiskey.
There are currently no tariffs on Irish whiskey sold in the US, but Lavelle believes that the aforementioned threatened action could then cause the US to retaliate and impose tariffs on homegrown Irish brands like Jameson, Teelings, etc.
The US has long since been the largest importer of Irish whiskey, so this would be a "devastating" blow for the Irish whiskey industry.
According to the IWA, Ireland sold 8.7 million 9-litre cases of whiskey in 2016 (the equivalent of 100 million bottles of whiskey.) Of these, some 44 million bottles were sold to the United States.
As per China Daily, the total exports of Irish whiskey in 2016 were valued at $589 million.
Lavelle has urged the EU to carefully consider what products it would place on a list for tariffs and to avoid placing Irish whiskey on the list, for fear of a near-wipe out of the prevalence of Irish whiskey in the US due to competition from other countries.