BREAKING NEWS: U.S. suspends tariffs on single malt Scotch whisky

In a huge dose of good news for the travel retail industry, the U.S. has agreed to suspend tariffs on UK goods including single malt whiskies, it was announced this morning. The tariffs were imposed in retaliation over subsidies to the aircraft maker Airbus.

The duties will be suspended for four months while the two sides seek a long-term settlement, reported the BBC. Tariffs will also be lifted on UK cheese, cashmere and machinery.

Commenting on the four-month suspension of US tariffs on Scotch Whisky and other products relating to the ongoing Airbus-Boeing trade dispute, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts said:

This is fabulous news, and our industry is delighted.  The tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky exports to the US has been doing real damage to Scotch Whisky in the sixteen months it has been in place, with exports to the US falling by 35%, costing companies over half a billion pounds. 

While todays’ action has no immediate impact on exports of Kentucky Bourbon and other American whiskies, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is encouraged that the United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to briefly suspend some tariffs involved in the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute.

“This is a good first step and a hopeful signal that the administration is committed to resolving trade wars that have inflicted so much collateral damage on global markets, including Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry and our broader American Whiskey family,” KDA President Eric Gregory said.

The KDA announced last week that tariffs imposed on U.S. spirits slashed Kentucky Bourbon exports by 35% in 2020, with shipments to the European Union plummeting by nearly 50%. Sales to the U.K., formerly Kentucky’s largest market in the EU, also have been decimated by 50%. This is a developing story.