Aerospace deal lets UK focus on taking US trading relationship to the next level

Fri 18 Jun 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The UK has agreed a deal with the US to settle the long-running aerospace dispute, days after the EU concluded its own deal.

Following face-to-face talks between trade minister Liz Truss and her US counterpart Katherine Tai, the government announced both sides have agreed to suspend retaliatory tariffs for five years and cooperate on tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.

Truss said the deal was good news for major employers like Scotch whisky and sectors like aerospace.

De-escalation measures

“We took the decision to de-escalate the dispute at the start of the year when we became a sovereign trading nation, which was crucial to breaking the deadlock and bringing the US to the table,” she said.

According to the Telegraph, Britain’s action in unilaterally suspending tariffs on US goods last year, encouraged talks, with the EU and US both later following suit. The EU also announced a similar deal to end the dispute with the US this week, as reported in the IOE&IT Daily Bulletin. 

The Scotch whisky industry, which has lost more that £600m in exports due to the 25% tariffs levied against it, welcomed the move, reports the Standard.

Negotiations continue

Imports of US whisky to the UK remain subject to tariffs as these were imposed under the separate trade dispute over steel and aluminium tariffs brought in by president Trump.

Truss said the UK can now focus on “taking its trading relationship with the US to the next level”, the FT reports.

The UK’s hopes of achieving a quick post-Brexit trade deal with the US foundered with the election of Joe Biden who has put the brakes on new trade deals as he focuses on reviving the US economy.