Brexit Britain has received a boost after negotiations the suspension of U.S. tariffs on key exports such as Scotch whisky, cashmere, cheese, pork, and machinery.
With the European Union controlling its member-states’ international trade policy, and Britain remaining subject to EU trade control up until the end of the 2020 “transition” period with the bloc, British exporters found themselves hit by punishing tariffs after being dragged into a dispute between Brussels and D.C. related to Airbus and Boeing.
While the opportunity for the fully-fledged British-American trade deal U.S. President Donald Trump pushed for from 2016 was lost as Britain’s governing Tory party failed to complete Brexit until his term was all but over, a “mini-deal” former ambassador Woody Johnson and British trade secretary Liz Truss had been working for in the administration’s dying days has now been completed.
Britain lifted tariffs on Boeing parts as a goodwill gesture in January, and America will now suspend tariffs on Scotch, Stilton cheese, and other British products for four months in reciprocation from Monday, pending a final agreement.
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“This is Global Britain in action: securing new opportunities as a newly nimble nation,” commented Truss.
“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,” she added.
“Our industry is delighted… everyone in our industry – from small companies to large – is breathing a sigh of relief. Suspending these tariffs – stemming from a transatlantic trade dispute that had nothing to do with us – and a return to tariff-free trade with the U.S. means livelihoods and communities across Scotland will be protected,” concurred Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
“It means that companies can now really focus on recovery – on building back the American market as well as on building back global exports hit by the coronavirus pandemic,” she added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal “shows what the UK can do as an independent trading nation, striking deals that back our businesses and support free and fair trade.”
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