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US, UK suspend tariffs and seek aircraft row resolution

"The United Kingdom and the United States are undertaking a four-month tariff suspension to ease the burden on industry and take a bold, joint step towards resolving the longest running disputes at the World Trade Organization," a joint statement said.

March 04, 2021 / 06:43 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

The United States and Britain on Thursday agreed a four-month suspension of US retaliatory tariffs imposed on goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft subsidy row, saying they would use the time to resolve the dispute.

The US administration under former president Donald Trump had imposed tariffs on an array of EU food, wine and spirits, including on Scotch whisky, which the industry says are putting its future at risk.

"The United Kingdom and the United States are undertaking a four-month tariff suspension to ease the burden on industry and take a bold, joint step towards resolving the longest running disputes at the World Trade Organization," a joint statement said.

"This will allow time to focus on negotiating a balanced settlement to the disputes, and begin seriously addressing the challenges posed by new entrants to the civil aviation market from non-market economies, such as China."

In December, Britain said it would use its new-found freedom outside the European Union to diverge from the bloc's common trade policy towards the United States, deciding to unilaterally suspend tariffs in hope of unlocking a settlement.

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"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," British trade minister Liz Truss said.

The Scotch Whisky Association said it welcomed the news.

"The tariff on single malt Scotch whisky exports to the U.S. has been doing real damage to Scotch whisky in the 16 months it has been in place, with exports to the U.S. falling by 35 percent, costing companies over half a billion pounds," Scotch Whisky Association CEO Karen Betts said.
Reuters
first published: Mar 4, 2021 06:43 pm

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