Britain to put pressure on US to drop Scotch whisky tariff
LONDON (UK) – The UK said it would pressure the US to drop tariffs on goods such as single malt Scotch whisky. This comes as the industry has warned that Washington’s decision to impose a levy puts its future at stake.
On Wednesday, the US government said it would continue with 15% tariffs on Airbus aircraft and 25% tariffs on other European goods as part of a long-running trade dispute. However, it desisted from imposing some extra tariffs.
Britain’s Trade Secretary Liz Truss hailed the US decision of not to impose new tariffs, but she raised the issue of the levy on whisky with US counterpart Robert Lighthizer last week.
“These tariffs damage industry and livelihoods on both sides of the Atlantic and are in nobody’s interests,” she said on Thursday. “I am therefore stepping up talks with the US to remove them as soon as possible.”
After quitting the European Union earlier this year, the UK is trying to forge new trade agreements with major partners such as the US in a bid to exercise its new freedom to strike bilateral deals.
In retaliation to EU subsidies on large aircraft, the US decided to impose tariffs on a host of EU food, wine and spirits.
Exports to the US fell by 30% since the tariff came into force harming jobs and the supply chain, said the Scotch Whisky Association.
“It has taken the UK government a full six months after the UK left the EU to start to tackle tariffs directly with the US government, which seems to us inexplicably slow,” Chief Executive Karen Betts said.
“Scotch Whisky is a crucial part of Scotland’s economy, employing over 11,000 people and many more than that through our supply chain, in some of the UK’s most productive jobs,” she said, adding that London should do more.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field