SND: U.S. to Suspend Tariffs on U.K. Spirits for Four Months

White House pauses 25 percent duties on single malt Scotch, but no relief yet on French, Spanish and German wines

SND: U.S. to Suspend Tariffs on U.K. Spirits for Four Months
Single malt Scotch producers, like Highland Park in the Orkneys, can breathe easier now that American tariffs are on hold. Will European wines get similar relief? (Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty)
Mar 4, 2021

There’s a glimmer of light in the trade war between European countries and the U.S. in which wine has been collateral damage. The Biden administration has agreed to suspend tariffs on U.K. wines and spirits related to the dispute over subsidies to Airbus. The move will come as welcome but overdue for Scotch whisky players in the U.S., where the single malt category has been hampered by the 25 percent tariff.

Wine consumers will see little relief, however. Tariffs of 25 percent on still wines from France, Spain and Germany remain in effect for now.

“Today is a very good day for Scotch and Scotland,” Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes told Shanken News Daily, a sister publication of Wine Spectator. Scotch whisky exports to the U.S. fell 35 percent from October 2019—when the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on single malts—through November 2020, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Still, U.K. tariffs on American whiskey remain in place while the nations negotiate a final agreement. And it’s unclear if the White House will seek a similar pause with the European Union, which could stop tariffs on imported wines. For more on the trade fight, read the full story at Shanken News Daily.

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