Trade minister vows to unleash ‘every part of UK’ and remove US tariffs on whisky and cashmere for good

Liz Truss has vowed to unleash “every part of the UK” after striking an agreement to remove US tariffs on whisky and cashmere.

The UK international trade secretary claimed the UK was “just getting started” and promised to spend the next four months working to guarantee the tariffs were abolished forever.

The declaration follows the United States temporarily suspending all retaliatory tariffs on direct exports from the UK after a settlement agreement over the Airbus subsidies dispute.

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

Employee Matthew Coulson poses for a photograph with whisky casks in the bonded warehouse at The Glenturret Distillery in Crieff, central Scotland. Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP

Writing exclusively in The Scotsman, Ms Truss claimed free trade could now “fuel our recovery and future prosperity”.

She said: “Together with our American allies, we are showing our determination to stop senseless trade disputes like the long-running feud over Boeing and Airbus from holding back our businesses.

“We will work flat out over the next four months to ensure the newly suspended tariffs are gone for good as part of a fair settlement.”

Ms Truss added: “Our mission is to unleash the potential of every part of the UK.

Liz Truss has vowed to unleash “every part of the UK” while visiting Scotland, and pledged to get rid of US tariffs on whisky and cashmere permanently.

"That is why the Department for International Trade launched last September a trade and investment hub in Edinburgh, which has been helping thousands of Scottish businesses to seize the unparalleled opportunities available through trade.

“We are just getting started. The trade and investment hub will work closely with credit agency UK Export Finance and our newly established Office for Investment to see more Scottish businesses excel.”

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Scotch whisky tariffs suspended in new US agreement

In Aberdeenshire and Moray yesterday, the senior minister visited the Cardhu whisky distillery and Johnstons of Elgin to see how Scottish businesses will benefit from the agreement struck with the US in the long running Airbus-Boeing dispute.

She explained: “Today I am seeing those benefits for myself by visiting key Scottish businesses, which can now gain from the agreement we struck with the United States to remove tariffs on our exports of whisky and cashmere.

“Suspending tariffs on £550 million worth of UK exports makes Scotland’s finest goods even better value for consumers in the huge American market.

“I am proud, having spent many of my formative years in Scotland, to be bringing the benefits of free and fair trade to every part of the United Kingdom.

"The Scottish people have been at the forefront of our success, from Adam Smith championing free trade in the 19th century to the modern entrepreneurs bringing home its benefit, whether it is the Scotch whisky distillers and Edinburgh financial services selling across the world or the Dundee developers behind best-selling games like Minecraft.

“It is estimated that the industry supports around 50,000 jobs across the UK. That shows how widely the benefits of these newly suspended tariffs will be felt.”

Speaking when the tariffs were first cut, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) called the suspension "fabulous news".

SWA chief 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 per cent, 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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