The International Trade Secretary today confirmed both sides have agreed to suspend retaliatory tariffs for 5 years and cooperate more closely on tackling unfair trade practices.
It comes after talks with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai at the Department for International Trade’s headquarters in central London.It follows a disagreement that hit industries such as cashmere, machinery, and single-malt Scotch whisky, with the Scotch Whisky Association estimating the tariffs have cost the sector hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenue.
She said: “This deal will support jobs across the country and is fantastic news for major employers like Scotch whisky and sectors like aerospace.
“We took the decision to de-escalate the dispute at the start of the year when we became a sovereign trading nation, which was crucial to breaking the deadlock and bringing the US to the table.
“I want to thank Katherine personally for her role in making this happen.
“Today’s deal draws a line under an incredibly damaging issue and means we can focus on taking our trading relationship with the US to the next level, including working more closely to challenge unfair practices by nations like China and using the power of free trade to build back better from the pandemic.”
The 17-year dispute was the longest-running in the history of the World Trade Organization, and has seen damaging retaliatory tariffs levied on products on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts hailed the result as "very good news” for the industry.She said: “The past two years have been extremely damaging for our industry, with the loss of over £600m in exports to the United States caused by a 25 per cent tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky imposed as a result of the long-running dispute between US and European aircraft manufacturers.“Today’s agreement is a culmination of many months of intensive negotiations and we’re grateful to Liz Truss International Trade Secretary, and Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative, and their teams for their hard work.”