US tariffs on Scotch whisky suspended

The regulation initially applies for four months

There has been great news for British exporting companies today: the US has suspended the retaliatory tariffs on imports of British goods, including scotch whisky, for the next four months. During this time, the existing disputes between the USA and Great Britain must be resolved. These result from EU subsidies for the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, in which the US sees competitive disadvantages for their aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) blames the 25% US tariffs introduced sixteen months ago for the sharp decline in Scottish exports last year (we reported) and has repeatedly called on the British government to stand by the distilleries.

Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the SWA, said: “So today, everyone in our industry – from small companies to large – is breathing a sigh of relief. Suspending these tariffs – stemming from a transatlantic trade dispute that had nothing to do with us – and a return to tariff-free trade with the US means livelihoods and communities across Scotland will be protected. It means that companies can now really focus on recovery – on building back the American market as well as on building back global exports hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
I want to pay tribute in particular to the hard work of Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, and her team. Her commitment to finding a resolution of this issue, alongside Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, has been very encouraging through what has been a particularly difficult period for our industry. Distillers will certainly be raising a dram to her tonight.“

Source: Scotch Whisky Association