UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss pledged on Thursday to step up talks with her US counterpart to urge the United States to drop the 25 percent tariff on single malt Scotch whisky
LONDON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2020) UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss pledged on Thursday to step up talks with her US counterpart to urge the United States to drop the 25 percent tariff on single malt Scotch whisky.
"These tariffs damage industry and livelihoods on both sides of the Atlantic and are in nobody's interests. I am therefore stepping up talks with the US to remove them as soon as possible", Truss said in a written statement.
Her comments were in response to Wednesday's announcement by the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saying that Washington will maintain the 25 percent levy on single malt Scotch whisky and other European goods.
Truss also said that during last week's talks with her US counterpart she had warned him against the new tariffs being imposed on products like gin and blended whisky.
"I am pleased that the US has not applied these additional tariffs, and welcome the decision to lift tariffs on shortbread. However, the announcement does not address tariffs that already exist on goods like single malt Scotch whisky," the UK international trade secretary added.
Commenting the USTR notification, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, Karen Betts, said on Thursday it was disappointing that Washington had decided to maintain the 25 percent tariff on single malt Scotch whisky, and warned such decision will inflict huge damage on the sector.
According to Betts, exports to the US have dropped by 30 percent since the tariff came into effect and the industry is grappling with losses totaling around 300 million Pounds ($362 million), which advised the government to speed up talks.
Betts also criticized Truss for taking six months to address the tariff issue directly with her US counterpart.
"While we welcomed International Trade Secretary Liz Truss' visit to the US last week, to talk directly to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, it was clearly too little, too late, she said in a statement published in the Scotch Whisky Association website.