Post-Brexit boom welcomed! Whisky firm sees sales jump by 28% despite EU export fears

UK's 'Asia-Pacific trade focus' criticised by Liddle

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The Artisanal Spirits Company, which owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said despite being hit by issues surrounding exporting goods to the EU more and more people are seeking the tipple. And the company said the suspension of US tariffs has enabled it to “progress with confidence” as it seeks new customers across the Atlantic.

In March, the Biden administration agreed to roll back levies slapped on UK goods including single malt whiskies that were imposed in retaliation over subsidies to Airbus.

The duties were suspended for four months while both sides worked on a long-term resolution.

Last month the US agreed to maintain the suspension on the 25 percent tariffs, which were introduced by former US President Donald Trump on select products of the EU in October 2019 as part of the trade dispute.

After Britain departed the bloc the tariffs continued to affect it.

Now, the Artisanal Spirits Company has said its online sales to UK drinkers ramped up by 28 percent, offering it a welcome boost during the Covid pandemic.

The firm pulled in £1.7million in the six months to 30 June, in comparison to £1.3million during the UK’s first lockdown last year.

The jump in sales came during the first six months after Britain’s Brexit transition period ended.

David Ridley, executive managing director, said the group is looking to expand its business in America as it continues to grow.

He said: “While Brexit continues to present logistical challenges for exports to the EU, we are working through these issues.

“We welcome the long-term suspension of US tariffs which took effect last month, not only does this provide an economic benefit to the business but also enables us to progress our strategic objectives in the USA with confidence.”

He also said demand from European drinkers remained steady more than a year after Brexit and six months after the end of the Brexit transition period.

Meanwhile, Britons are eagerly awaiting a much-anticipated trade deal between London and Washington.

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After Britain voted to leave the bloc in 2016, Mr Trump said the US would be vying for a hefty trade package.

His successor Joe Biden is also keen to see a post-Brexit agreement signed between the two nations.

Liz Truss, the UK’s international trade secretary, made a huge breakthrough in talks with the American team when they agreed to keep the suspension to tariffs on whisky.

Last week she enjoyed a five-day visit to the US, where she met with Dr Jewel Bronaugh, the US deputy secretary of agriculture.

Ms Truss gifted her host with a piece of Stilton, a playful nod to the Americans’ decision to lift tariffs on British cheese.

She tweeted: “I gave her British Stilton to celebrate the removal of 25 percent retaliatory tariffs!”

The US is the UK’s largest single trading partner, with total trade reaching over £196bn ($252bn) in 2020.

Despite Brexiteer’s eagerness for a deal, a source close to Ms Truss said a pact with Washington is unlikely before 2023.

The insider told the Sunday Telegraph: “Liz is playing the long game and wants to build a much broader base of support for a deal in the US domestic market, which is why we’re heading to California as well as DC.

“We want the backing of the American public, key industries like tech, and the political class, and Liz is out there to get that and bang the drum for Britain.”

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