Two Kentucky congressmen will lead a congressional caucus formed more than a decade ago to promote policies strengthening the nation’s bourbon industry.

Republican Rep. Andy Barr and Democratic Rep. Morgan McGarvey will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus for the 118th Congress, it was announced Friday.

The caucus was founded in 2009 and is made up of a bipartisan group of members.

“I am proud to welcome my friend, Rep. Morgan McGarvey, to the Congressional Bourbon Caucus and look forward to working together to protect this signature Kentucky industry,” Barr said.

McGarvey, in his first term in Congress, said he will “work across the aisle to protect and promote distilled spirits at a national and international level.”

Distilled Spirits Council President and CEO Chris Swonger said the caucus has been “instrumental in the growth of distilleries across the country.”

Promoting tariff-free trade for American whiskey producers is a top goal for the caucus. American distillers got caught up in a trans-Atlantic trade fight during Donald Trump’s presidency, causing deep drops in exports to the European Union.

Bourbon is an estimated $8.6 billion industry in Kentucky, supporting more than 20,000 jobs statewide and producing 95% of the world’s supply, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

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