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09 June 2020

UK-Japan talks can set tone for international trade ambitions

Container ship
The SWA comments on the start of UK-Japan trade talks.

The UK and Japanese governments have started negotiations on a UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement.

Ian McKendrick, International Director at the SWA, said:

“Japan is a top-ten market for Scotch Whisky, with consumers who understand the rich heritage and quality of Scotland’s national drink.

“Exports of Scotch Whisky to Japan were worth £147m in 2019, and we hope that the UK-Japan FTA negotiations will help to further develop the market in the years ahead.

“In doing so, there is an opportunity to show the benefits of tariff-free trade and strong legal protection. Scotch Whisky is already tariff free under WTO rules and has enjoyed Geographical Indication (GI) protection under the EU free trade agreement, two key pillars of industry growth.

“Continued legal protection and championing global free trade, at a time of rising protectionism, will set the tone for the UK’s international trade ambitions and help with the post Covid-19 economic recovery.”