News from Congressman Barr

May 21, 2021

Congressional Update from U.S. Congressman Andy Barr

Toasting to Great News for Kentucky's Bourbon Industry

On Monday, the European Union (EU) announced the delay of a massive tariff spike on U.S. whiskey exports. The EU imposed a 25% tariff on U.S. whiskey exports in 2018, and this tariff was set to double to 50% on June 1, 2021. 

The EU tariff hurt what had been a great American export success story for many years.  American whiskey exports to the EU, our largest export market, grew from $502 million in 2008 to $702 million in 2018, an increase of 40 percent.  Since the tariff was imposed, American Whiskey exports to the EU declined by 37 percent.

As co-Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Bourbon Caucus, I led a letter with over four dozen other members of Congress to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, encouraging the Biden Administration to pursue a delay and ultimately, a full removal of these tariffs on American whiskey exports.  

This week’s decision is a step in the right direction and I will keep working to eliminate the EU tariff and protect one of Kentucky’s signature industries, which generates over $8.2 billion in economic activity in the Commonwealth annually. 

Giving Middle-Class Families Much Needed Tax Relief

This week, I reintroduced the Middle Class Savings Act.  This legislation would align the brackets for capital gains taxes with those created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Some fast facts on capital gains taxes and the impact of the Middle Class Savings Act below:

  • Tax rates for long-term capital gains are based on individual income, with families in the lowest income tax brackets paying 0% in capital gains taxes, the middle brackets paying 15% and the highest income tax brackets paying 20%.
  • The Middle Class Savings Act would align the long-term capital gains tax rate with the income tax brackets meaning that families in the lowest two income tax brackets (under $77,400 for married families) will pay no taxes on long-term capital gains.
  • Middle income brackets ($77,400 - $600,000 for married families) will pay a 15% tax on long-term capital gains and the highest income tax bracket (above $600,000 for married families) will pay a 20% long-term capital gains tax.

My proposal cuts taxes for middle-class investors to enable families to save more through the stock market. 

Fox Business Appearance

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On Wednesday night, I appeared on Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit with host Elizabeth MacDonald.  We discussed the hypocrisy of corporations like Nike and Coca-Cola for harshly criticizing U.S. states passing election integrity laws throughout the U.S. while being silent about human rights abuses in China.  Of course, many of these same corporations including Coco-Cola and Nike do business in China but refuse to criticize the Chinese Communist Party for suppressing human rights in Hong Kong, Taiwan and for credible reports of forced labor of Uyghur minorities.


Sincerely,

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Congressman Andy Barr

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