Scotch Whisky welcomes UK-Australia trade deal

The Scotch Whisky industry has welcomed the Agreement in Principle reached over a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has removed the 5% tariff on Scotch Whisky.

However, there there may be a backlash to the agreement from some Scottish farmers concerned over the opening up of access to the UK market.

In 2019, Scotch Whisky accounted for 75% of Scottish food and drink exports and 21% of all UK food and drink exports.

Scotch Whisky exports were worth £3.8 billion in 2020, down from £4.9 billion in 2019.

Scotch Whisky Association CEO Karen Betts said: “It’s very good to see the removal of the 5% tariff on Scotch Whisky in the Agreement in Principle between the UK and Australia.

“This will help Scotch Whisky distillers continue to expand exports to Australia, which have almost doubled over the last decade, making Australia our eight largest market by value.

“It’s also important to us that trade with Australia is now tariff-free for Scotch Whisky – our preference is always for tariff-free trade, which enables Scotch Whisky to compete on a level playing field and on the strength of our reputation for quality.

“We await further details of the Agreement in Principle.

“A framework for addressing regulatory barriers to trade with Australia, to ensure greater legal protection and tax fairness for Scotch Whisky, is also important to us, and – if delivered in this agreement – will be a real boost for the industry.”