Saturday, June 12, 2021

Australian trade deal could slash tariffs on whisky, boost Scottish industry

A UK-Australia trade deal could include a major boost for Scotch whisky producers with the removal of a 5% tariff on whisky exports, the Department for International Trade has revealed.

The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is seeking to remove the tariff, which makes it more expensive for distilleries to sell overseas, and is also pushing for improved legal protection for whisky in the Australian market during ongoing trade negotiations.

Australia is the 8th biggest market for Scotch whisky exports, worth £113 million last year.

The Scotch Whisky Association says a tariff cut will help boost sales and support distillers across Scotland – with Australia a prime market for premium single malt Scotch.

The industry currently supports more than 10,000 jobs in Scotland and more than 40,000 across the UK.

A deal with Australia would be the first in a series of “next generation of trade deals” that the Government wants to strike with large and fast-growing consumer markets beyond Europe, which aim to slash tariffs on iconic British exports like whisky and boost trade and investment in future-facing industries like services, low-carbon technology and digital trade.

It would be a significant boost to Scottish industries like financial services, food and drink and manufacturing, supporting the 800 Scottish businesses who already export £321 million worth of goods to Australia.

Scotland sold £12.5 million worth of medicinal and pharmaceutical products to Australia in 2020, despite tariffs of up to 5%.

A UK-Australia deal could increase exports by slashing those tariffs, cutting red tape and aligning regulations. Scottish machinery and tractors could also benefit from a tariff reduction of up to 5%.

Any agreement would also be an important gateway for Scottish businesses into the wider Asia-Pacific free trade area, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which cuts tariffs on 95% of goods traded between members.

The CPTPP is a trade bloc worth £8.4 trillion in GDP, including the likes of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam, that UK wants to join later this year.

“A UK-Australia trade agreement would be significant for Scotch whisky and the Union. Part of the promise of leaving the EU was striking deals with countries well beyond Europe, opening new opportunities for iconic British goods like Scotch overseas,” said Ms Truss.

“I am fighting hard to get these tariffs cut and secure a deal that benefits producers in Scotland and helps the whole of the UK.”

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, added: “From whisky to shortbread, Scotland offers an array of food and drink that many can enjoy and, thanks to the imminent UK-Australia trade deal, more people than ever will be able to do just that.

“As we continue to reduce trade barriers and cut red tape, UK businesses and consumers can be assured that they will benefit from all the trade deals we are signing with countries across the world.

“The 800 Scottish businesses exporting goods to Australia last year are no exception to this and the others that will join them will only further showcase the very best Britain has to offer.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Latest news

Related news

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.