Jun 18, 2021
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Luxury sector relieved as UK and US settle trade dispute

Jun 18, 2021

A long-running trade dispute between the UK and the US that hit export sales of luxury goods has been suspended until 2026.

John Lewis

UK luxury industry body Walpole welcomed the agreement as “fantastic news”, bringing a end to a dispute that had impacted exports of UK cashmere wool and tailoring, and also Scotch whisky, Stilton cheese and construction vehicles, among others.

The two countries have agreed to end a 17-year trade dispute that grew out of subsidies for plane-makers Boeing and Airbus and resulted in retaliatory tariffs of up to 25% on exports of key luxury goods.

The UK had made the first by suspending retaliatory tariffs on the US earlier this year. The US then agreed to a four-month tariff suspension while a more durable deal was negotiated. 

Walpole had previously said luxury goods shouldn't become part of a trade war about plane parts. And its CEO Helen Brocklebank said: “This is fantastic news for Walpole’s members", adding that "these punitive tariffs should never have been inflicted on the luxury sector".

Liz Truss, UK international trade secretary, added: “This deal will support jobs across the country and is fantastic news for major employers.

“Today’s deal draws a line under an incredibly damaging issue and means we can focus on taking our trading relationship with the US to the next level, including working more closely to challenge unfair practices… and using the power of free trade to build back better from the pandemic”.

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