Scotch whisky tariffs suspended in new US agreement

Scotch whisky tariffs have been suspended after a agreement was reached with the United States.

Scotch whisky tariffs have been suspended after a agreement was reached with the United States.

The United States will now temporarily suspend all retaliatory tariffs on direct exports from the UK after a settlement agreement over the Airbus despite.

It means Scotch whisky will now see its tariffs go from 25 per cent to 0 per cent, as will textiles such as cashmere.

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Negotiations between the UK Government and the new US administration mean the tariffs on the products will be suspended for four months from Monday March 8, backdated to today, Thursday 4 March.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “From Scotch Whisky distillers to Stilton-makers, businesses across the UK will benefit from the US decision today to suspend tariffs in this dispute.

“It shows what the UK can do as an independent trading nation, striking deals that back our businesses and support free and fair trade.”

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “I am delighted to say that our American allies – under their new President and his hard-working staff at the US Trade Representative - have embraced our move to seek a fair settlement.

“The benefits will be felt across our nation, especially in Scotland where Scotch whisky distillers will be able to sell at lower prices in the United States, their most valuable market.

“The easier it is for Americans to buy a bottle of Macallan, Talisker or Glenfiddich, the more money those producers will have to invest in their businesses, their staff and futures.”

There are now hopes the period of suspension will be used to reach a permanent end to the products being hit by tariffs of 25 per cent.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross hailed the breakthrough as a “major step forward” in ending the long-standing dispute on Scotch Whisky and cashmere products.

The Moray MP claimed the move was a benefit of Brexit, with the EU involved in a dispute with the previous US administration over subsidies given to Airbus.

He said: “This is a major step forward in ending these hugely damaging tariffs on our iconic Scotch Whisky and textile products.

"The dispute has gone on for far too long and these industries have been disproportionately punished for a disagreement between the US and the European Union that they played absolutely no part in.

“This agreement between the UK Government and the new US administration shows the benefits of being outside the European Union.

"The four month suspension will hopefully allow the breathing space to find a permanent solution to end these tariffs once and for all.

“The US market is the most valuable one for our Scotch Whisky distillers who will now be hoping that there is a brighter future ahead for them in terms of exporting their products.”

The Scotch Whisky Association called the suspension "fabulous news".

Boss Karen Betts said: "The tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky exports to the US has been doing real damage to Scotch Whisky in the 16 months it has been in place, with exports to the US falling by 35%, costing companies over half a billion pounds.

"So today, everyone in our industry - from small companies to large - is breathing a sigh of relief."

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