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UK Exports to the US: Tariffs

Volume 692: debated on Thursday 15 April 2021

What recent discussions she has had with her US counterpart on not re-imposing tariffs on UK exports to the US. (914100)

I am delighted that the United States responded to our de-escalation of retaliatory tariffs in January and has removed the 25% tariff on Scotch whisky and other products. This is fantastic news for the 50,000 people whose jobs rely on the industry. I am working with Ambassador Tai to get a long-term resolution to the Airbus-Boeing dispute.

The Scotch whisky industry is of economic importance to a large number of the most economically fragile communities in the highlands and islands, so I genuinely wish the Secretary of State very well in her endeavours to get the removal of tariffs made permanent. Is the situation that the Prime Minister has created in Northern Ireland helping or hindering the engagement with the Biden Administration?

We are extremely committed to the Good Friday agreement and have had frequent discussions with the Biden Administration. I am having very positive discussions with my counterpart Katherine Tai about resolving the Airbus-Boeing dispute—which has been going on for 16 years—to the benefit of the Scotch whisky industry, other industries throughout the UK and industries such as aerospace, in which we need Airbus to be able to compete.

Madainn mhath, Mr Speaker.

The digital-service-tax threats from the USA show that the Biden Administration value their special relationship with big tech more than the one with the UK. The threat to the tax sovereignty of the UK and a number of other countries indicates that there is not really a relationship of equals. Is not the prospect of a trade deal with the USA pretty dead? In any case, the 0.2% of GDP that such a deal was going to recover was only a fraction of the damage done by Brexit. Has the Secretary of State accepted that fact yet?

We are urging the United States to desist from any more tit-for-tat tariffs disputes, including in respect of a digital services tax. We think that the best way to resolve the issue is through the process that the Chancellor is leading at the OECD. We are in further discussions with the United States not just to end the Airbus tariff dispute but to work with the United States at the G7 to challenge unfair practices in the global trading system by countries such as China.