US suspension of tariffs on UK goods bodes well for business

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on March 10th 2021, 12:12pm

The UK and US governments have this week agreed on a new joint approach to resolve their 16-year trade dispute over aerospace tariffs, in a move which is set to hand a major boost to businesses in both nations.

The US has said that its retaliatory tariffs on exports from the UK - which were introduced following the Airbus-Boeing dispute - will be suspended for four months, to allow for a negotiating window which will bring an end to the trade conflict.

The suspension of US tariffs came into effect on March 8 and was backdated to March 4.

The US decision follows the UK’s move to suspend Boeing tariffs against the US from January 2021.

In 2018, the year before the tariffs were introduced, the US imported around £550 million of goods from the UK.

The UK government has said that the suspension of tariffs will help protect jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, with the Scotch whisky industry set to particularly benefit having been the UK’s largest food and drink export product over 2020.

Indeed, exports of single malt Irish and Scotch whisky to the US were worth roughly £340 million over 2018.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "From Scotch Whisky distillers to Stilton-makers, businesses across the UK will benefit from the US decision to suspend tariffs in this dispute.

"It shows what the UK can do as an independent trading nation, striking deals that back our businesses and support free and fair trade. I now look forward to strengthening the UK-US relationship, as we drive economic growth and build back better together."

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss added: "I am delighted to say that our American allies, under their new President and his hard-working staff at the US Trade Representative, have embraced our move to seek a fair settlement.

"This is Global Britain in action: securing new opportunities as a newly nimble nation. The benefits will be felt across our nation, especially in Scotland, where Scotch whisky distillers will be able to sell at lower prices in the United States, their most valuable market.

"The easier it is for Americans to buy a bottle of Macallan, Talisker or Glenfiddich, the more money those producers will have to invest in their businesses, their staff and futures."

Leading freight forwarding, logistics, supply chain and e-commerce firm Horizon International is one business that has responded warmly to the announcement and in the wake of the trade dispute cooldown is ready to support clients who may benefit.

Chairman Nigel Davies commented: "With five offices operating in the US and three in the UK, we are in a particularly advantageous position to support clients looking to export between these countries who are in a position to benefit from this, and would urge them to get in touch with us."

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
March 10th 2021, 12:12pm

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