Cognac Reviews

USA Hits Scotch Whisky With 25% Tariffs

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The USA government has announced that they would impose a 25% import tariff on European Union [EU] goods – including Scotch whisky, liqueurs, cordials and wine – as part of an ongoing dispute with the World Trade Organization regarding subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.

The USA has said that the tariffs will come into effect on October 18, 2019.

A trade association analysis has determined that USA tariffs on Scotch, liqueurs and cordials, and wine could have an economic impact of approximately $3.4 billion in imports and could result in the loss of an estimated 13,000 jobs in the UK. The new USA tariffs are partially in response to the EU’s 25% retaliatory tariff on USA products, imposed in July 2018 [that included American whiskey] after the USA initially began imposing tariffs in June 2018.

Single malt Scotch whisky will bear the brunt of the new tariffs as they represent more than half the total value of UK products on the tariff list, according to a trade association valuation.

The Scotch whisky sector has the USA as the largest and most valuable single market for UK whisky producers, who exported well over $1 billion of Scotch whisky to the states in 2019.

The EU and USA had originally reached an agreement and enjoyed tariff-free trade in distilled spirits since 1994.

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