No US tariffs on British gin and beer

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

13 August 2020

Tariffs remain on single malt whisky, however.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has said the move is a ‘welcome relief’, a sentiment echoed by Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

‘This is the first important step in what should prove to be a closer trading relationship, and should provide the necessary space for constructive discussions between the US and UK governments, and for both administrations to work to remove the remaining tariffs against liqueurs, Bourbon and Scotch products – and all wine products affected as well,’ said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

‘Industry’s voice on both sides of the Atlantic for a free and fair trade agenda is being listened to and that is good for business and good for consumers.’

The US had threatened a hike in tariffs on a raft of UK and EU goods in retaliation for subsidies given to aviation firm Airbus – part of a 16-year battle between Europe and the US over state aid for the company and its American rival Boeing.

Today’s announcement covers drinks such as beer and gin but not single malt whisky, a move that the Scotch Whisky Association called ‘deeply disappointing’. The international business secretary Liz Truss said, ‘These tariffs damage industry and livelihoods on both sides of the Atlantic and are in nobody’s interests. I am therefore stepping up talks with the US to remove them as soon as possible.’

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