US Tariffs Suspended On Scotch Whisky

Following the UK and EU deal over the Airbus-Boeing dispute, the United States agreed in late June to suspend tariffs on Scotch single malt whisky.

As part of a trade dispute about aerospace subsidies, the 25% tariffs were originally introduced in October 2019 under Donald Trump’s presidency.

Long Dispute

The EU and US agreed to end the 17-year long dispute after two days of intensive negotiations. The deal includes a five-year suspension of tariffs both sides had imposed on products such as cheese, olive oil and whisky.

Although the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it was part of the bloc when the tariffs were brought in.

Reports from the Scotch Whisky Association suggest that the tariffs resulted in a 30% fall in US exports, totalling around £600 million in the 18 months since their introduction.

The intention behind the decision is that the disagreement will not reemerge in the future, and thus both sides agreed to halt any retaliatory tariffs for five years.

A committee will also be formed to discuss subsidy limits and resolve any issues that may arise.

Deal Highlights

Under this deal, the UK will suspend tariffs on vodka, rum and brandy from the US, although American whisky will still face a 25% tariff based on an ongoing dispute between the EU and the US over steel and aluminium.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States claimed that the tariffs contributed to a staggering 53% decline in UK exports.

Following the departure from the EU bloc, the UK is free to negotiate its own trade deals with any country it chooses.

Earlier in the same week, the government announced a free trade deal with Australia that will abolish tariffs on a variety of goods in the coming years.

Brexiteers have claimed that these developments demonstrate the benefits of Britain’s exit from the EU, signalling that the country now has more freedom to arrange better trade deals.

The Scottish National Party, meanwhile, complained that the British government must do more to support the businesses that have suffered as a result of these tariffs.