One small whiskey distillery based in Virginia, just a few miles from the nation’s capital, could suffer some unintended consequences from a game of tit-for-tat tariffs between the U.S. and the European Union.
Catoctin Creek, which started its craft distillery business nearly 10 years ago, conducts almost a quarter of its business in Europe.
But after the European trading bloc slapped a retaliatory 25% tariff on American bourbon – in direct response to President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs – Catoctin co-founder Scott Harris said the business is at risk of losing everything it gained from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“The impact of these tariffs is going to wipe out all the benefits we got from the tax cuts for our particular business,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman on Wednesday. “That’s really disappointing for us.”
Catoctin began investing in Europe about five years ago, and just recently funneled $100,000 into that branch of its business to create labeling that’s compliant with European standards, among other necessities.
Now, less than one week into the European tariffs, the price of a Catoctin bottle in Europe has already jumped to $65 from its original $52.
“It’s just making our products more price non-competitive with other products in Europe,” Harris said.
Harris said he met with several Trump administration officials on Tuesday to try to figure out a solution or exemption for Catoctin, but they have yet to find an answer.
“They were very sympathetic, they were listening,” he said. “I think right now we as a country are hopefully trying to get all the people to the table so we can hash out these deals and be done with it.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Catoctin Creek as a brandy distillery. It is a whiskey distillery.