Boost our spirits by lowering alcohol tariffs – key global trade stories to read this afternoon
08 July 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
With so much going on around international trade this week, important developments can be easily missed.
The IOE&IT’s content team has trawled through the national media and trade press to find the key stories that busy exporters and importers need to know about today.
1. Boost spirits with lower tariffs
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has called on the UK to be a “bastion of free trade” as it forges its independent trade policy post-Brexit.
The trade body’s chief executive Miles Beale also told The Spirits Business trade publication that the UK should prioritise a deal with the US in order to remove the 25% retaliatory tariffs the US imposed on scotch whisky last year.
“I don’t expect that tariff to be removed soon unfortunately, but it’s something we’re pressing very hard for and we’re pressing from every angle,” he told The Spirits Business.
“There’s a real opportunity here for the UK to set itself up as being very pro-free trade,” he added. “That’s not as in vogue as it was a decade ago, but it’s absolutely something the UK should be doing as it’s going to be an independent free-trading nation.”
2. EU to concede on fisheries?
Michel Barnier is “ready to accept British plans that will give our boats a far greater share of catches,” reports the Sun.
Barnier was in London yesterday where the tabloid reports he was served halibut for dinner.
The prospect of the UK and EU arriving at a ‘landing zone’ in the talks, has also boosted the pound, with Pound Sterling Live reporting a 0.8% gain against the Euro and a 0.54% against the US Dollar.
3. Scottish defiance on food standards
The devolved government in Scotland has said it could defy UK legislation that would allow the parliament in Westminster to set UK-wide food and environmental standards.
Scotland’s cabinet secretary, Michael Russell, told the Financial Times that the SNP government would fight the legislation in the courts.
“We do not accept that this is a legitimate way of operating within devolution,” he said. “[If] they pass legislation... then we will have no intention of implementing that and they would have to essentially go to court to force its implementation.”
4. Dr Fox to get UK nod for WTO
Dr Liam Fox has been given the UK’s nomination to stand for the top position at the WTO, the government has announced.
The FT reports that the government told former Labour minister, Peter Mandelson, that his application to be a candidate for WTO director general was rejected on the basis that he was a ‘Remainer’ in the Brexit debate.
Dr Fox will be in competition with candidates around the world to replace Roberto Azevedo, who announced his decision to move on from the position earlier in the summer.