Economist: US-China 'Trade War' tariffs may impact Chattanooga whiskey distilleries

(Image: WTVC)

With the United States and China now engaged in a trade war, Chattanooga's whiskey distilleries could be impacted by the tariffs.

Thursday night, President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff increase on 34 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods.

China's Ministry of Commerce quickly retaliated, levying an equal $34 billion in taxes on imported goods. Whiskey is one of the major exports China is taxing.

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company told us that while increasing tariffs, "will affect many exporters, which isn't good for the spirits industry as a whole, Chattanooga Whiskey currently does not export."

NewsChannel 9 spoke with an economist that says the local whiskey industry will feel the impact, whether they export or not.

UTC Economics professor Dr. Leanora Brown says "if companies exporting whiskey are now faced with higher tariffs, then maybe now they have to look at other markets like Chattanooga," says Dr. Brown.

She says whiskey companies may see more competition in the coming months in response to tariffs.

Whiskey drinkers we spoke with are concerned about smaller companies.

"Some of the large distillery are going to be fine in the end but some of these smaller breweries may have harder time picking up," said one couple.

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