This month, Founder and CEO Tom Lix was featured in an article written by John Hitch highlighting Cleveland Whiskey and impact of the bourbon tariffs on the company.
Lix’s innovative distillery speeds up the maturation process of bourbon, cutting the wait from 10 years to 24 hours. Hitch quoted Lix, “‘We’re not a craft distillery; we’re really an innovation and technology company,’ says Lix, who employs 15 people. ‘We’re making a lot of transformational whiskies that are different than anybody else’s.'”
Canada, China, and European Union, in response to tariffs placed on them by the Trump administration, placed tariffs on bourbon and whiskies as well as other commodities in June of 2018. The European Union alone placed a 25% increase on American bourbons and whiskies.
Hitch writes, “Even before the tariffs went into effect, Lix’s business had become a casualty of the global economic conflict.
‘It sent a chill through our EU distributors,’ Lix says of the prospect of tariffs months ago. ‘Orders stopped.'”
Hitch and Lix touch on various aspects of the business affected by these tariffs including production, inventory, and employment. Lix concludes by hoping that things will end peacefully and quickly.
“This is an issue that affects both Democrats and Republicans, and I think we have to unite to somehow correct this,” says Lix, who has hosted President Barack Obama and both Ohio senators at Cleveland Whiskey. “I don’t believe you can win a trade war, despite what some people might believe.”