American whiskey trade group calls on UK to act on tariffs

Trade organisation the Bourbon Alliance has welcomed the announcement of an agreement between the US and EU to remove the EU’s tariffs on American whiskeys. The 25% tariff was a retaliatory measure as part of a steel and aluminium trade dispute.

The group has now called for the UK government to replicate the agreement.

“We congratulate our colleagues in the US and EU who have successfully advocated for the immediate removal of the crippling 25% tariff on Bourbon and other American whiskey imports into the EU,” the group said. “While we welcome the resolution in the EU, the Bourbon Alliance is continuing to call for a similar resolution in the UK and the removal of the tariff which continues to inflict pain on UK importers, the hospitality sector, and the Scotch whisky supply chain.”

The Bourbon Alliance said that since 2018, American whiskey imports to the UK have fallen 53%.

Bourbon Alliance co-founder Martha Dalton said: “The UK must now focus on reaching a similar resolution, working with colleagues in the US to finally remove the tariff which continues to cause such disruption to the UK economy.

“When the UK left the Customs Union, we were promised the freedom to establish an independent trade policy – the time has come to realise the opportunities of Brexit and to cut the tariff for good.”

Wine and Spirits Trade Association CEO Miles Beale added: “It is welcome news that the US and EU have made such significant progress on the steel and aluminium dispute and taken US Whiskey producers out of the tariffs firing line. The UK must now capitalise on this momentum without delay, suspend the tariffs, and quickly work with the US to resolve the dispute. At a time when the economy is in recovery from continued lockdown, it is vital that we move to support our UK spirits importers and the hard-hit hospitality industry at pace.”

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