The beverage industry welcomed the trade truce between the United Kingdom and the United States on Thursday (June 17). Tariffs on Scotch whiskey and most other spirits were lifted, although they called for further efforts to remove the last export tariff on American whiskey.
Although the focus of the trade dispute was the 17-year subsidy dispute between American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and European rival Airbus, when former U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on Scotch whisky in 2019, beverages The industry is in trouble.
Thanks to the agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the United States, these tariffs that were suspended earlier this year will now end for at least five years.
“This is great news for Scotch whisky. The past two years have caused great damage to our industry,” said Karen Bate, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, adding that due to the 25% tariff, the industry’s Export losses exceeded 600 million pounds (840 million US dollars).
“This agreement eliminates the threat of re-imposing tariffs on Scotch whisky next month and allows brewers to focus on restoring exports to our largest and most valuable export market.”
Noting that the truce did not completely resolve potential disputes, she urged governments to continue to work constructively.
The deal will also help exporters of American rum, brandy and vodka, and the 25% tariffs on their own products will also be eliminated.
But bourbon and other American whiskies exported to the United Kingdom and the European Union still have to pay tariffs in retaliation for another dispute over steel and aluminum.
“This puts American whiskey at a severe competitive disadvantage in the two most important export markets of the UK and the European Union,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Liquor Committee.
“We hope that this positive momentum will also lead to the rapid and permanent removal of EU and UK tariffs on American whiskey.”