Purcellville's Catoctin Creek Distillery found itself on the national stage at a United State Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Thursday morning.
During Sen. Tim Kaine's (D-Va.) comments at the Tariffs: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy and the International Economy hearing, Kaine highlighted Catoctin Creek Distillery as a small, locally-owned business that's being hit hard by recent Trump administration trade policies.
At the hearing, Kaine began by discussing the effects of the administration's escalating trade fight on local businesses.
Kaine held up a bottle of Catoctin Creek's rye whiskey and said, “Catoctin Creek, a tiny Virginia distillery with 20 employees, has spent in the last five years $100,000 to expand in Europe. After the tariffs, the European Union has retaliated with an additional 25 percent tariff.
“Catoctin Creek's owner Scott Harris said they were just launching in a big way and this is the worst possible timing, and all European sales are likely to come to a screeching halt,” Kaine continued. “We talk about a trade war, and the question is, ‘Who is it against?’ And in Virginia it seems like it’s farmers and workers … We should not be in a trade war without a vote of Congress.”
After the hearing, Harris, the Catoctin Creek co-owner, told the Times-Mirror: "We are happy to have Sen. Kaine discussing the impact on the trade tariffs on local Virginia businesses like ours. These tariffs are causing real stress to small businesses, potentially impacting the good manufacturing and agriculture jobs that we've created in the last decade. Hopefully, the senator's efforts in Washington will be successful in getting the Commerce Department to the table with the EU negotiators so we can put an end to this hurtful policy."
President Donald Trump has defended his trade policies and tariff implementation as a practice in protecting American interests. He has said America has consistently being taken advantage of on the world stage.
“Recognizing that bad actors have taken economic advantage of the United States for too long, President Trump is taking urgent action to safeguard American interests,” reads a statement on the White House's website.