UK: Scottish National Party wows to keep up pressure on reaching an agreement with the US to abolish single malt whisky tariffs
A Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament has vowed to keep up the pressure on the UK Government to work with US counterparts in abolishing single malt whisky tariffs, The National reported on February 27.
Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, has urged the UK Government to continue efforts to remove the damaging tariffs.
In October 2019 the Trump administration approved tariffs of 25% on single malt imports into the US. The industry had enjoyed a zero-tariff import agreement for 25 years.
These were the result of a long-standing aviation industry dispute between the US and the EU, primarily concerning subsidies for Boeing and Airbus. In October 2019, the World Trade Organization ruled that the US could impose tariffs of £6.1 billion on goods imported from the EU.
Scotlands whisky industry was targetted along with other goods of importance to Scotlands economy such as cashmere clothing.
According to data published by The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the 2020 export value of Scotch fell by £1.1 bln from the 2019 value. The SWA ascribes these export figures the lowest in a decade to combined effects of US tariffs and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Exports to the US fell by 32% to £729 million.
Monaghan said: For many years, the US has been a key market for single malt producers. With some diplomatic efforts from the UK Government, there is no reason why 2020s ill fortunes cannot be rectified.
With the Biden administration now occupying the White House, this is a prime opportunity for the UK Government to revise current tariffs with counterparts in Washington.
In the House of Commons, I asked [UK Business Secretary] Kwasi Kwarteng what the UK Government is doing to work with US officials to this end.
He agreed with me on the importance of resolving these tariffs for the benefit of whisky producers. As such, I will continue to ask these pressing questions in Parliament in order to hold the UK Government accountable to this commitment.
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