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UK removes ‘retaliatory’ tariffs on American whiskeys

Published:  24 March, 2022

The Bourbon Alliance and its members have welcomed the announcement of a resolution to a trade dispute, which resulted in destructive tariffs on American Whiskeys. 

The ongoing spat was over steel and aluminium imports when former US President Donald Trump enforced a 25% tariff on steel shipments and a 15% tax on aluminium imports in 2018.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), since the imposition of the 25% tariff on American Whiskeys, exports to the UK, the fourth-largest market for American Spirits, have declined by 42%, from $150 million (£114 million) to $88 million (2018-2021).

READ MORE: The trade reacts to the government’s VAT increase

After two months of talks, US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo announced yesterday (23 March) the resumption of tariff-free access for UK steel and aluminium exports.

In a statement, the Bourbon Alliance commented: “We raise a glass in thanks to parliamentarians from both sides of both Houses in the UK whose support has been unwavering. 

“This announcement allows our members to recover from four years of debilitating tariffs and uncertain trading conditions and allows, what was once a fast-growing category in global spirits markets, to recover and flourish once more.

“The Bourbon Alliance has been proud to work with American whiskey producers and all those in the UK whose livelihoods depend on being able to trade American whiskey. We are delighted that today’s announcement represents an important step in the long-overdue rebounding of the American whiskey category, much to the benefit of UK consumers, the hospitality sector, and the wider UK economy.”