SWA seeks new Canada trade deal

The Scotch Whisky Association will travel to Canada to seek a new trade agreement led by European commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan.

Canada is Scotch Whisky’s 15th largest market with exports worth £74 million by customs value a year and the new deal will bring a range of market access benefits and reduce the number of barriers to enter the country.

Siobhan Sellers, head of Americas market access SWA, said: “We are firm believers in open markets and removing barriers to trade across the globe.

“We will also take the opportunity to discuss with UK officials the need to ensure benefits obtained through EU negotiations are secured and act as a helpful benchmark to push for further trade liberalisation after Brexit.”

In February, MEPs voted in favour of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement which, when implemented will mean fewer internal trading restrictions, balanced intellectual property rights for EU products in Canada and removal of the Canadian liquor boards.

Sellers added: “This is an excellent opportunity to join European Commissioner Phil Hogan on this important mission to Canada. It is a chance for us to ensure the benefits of CETA quickly become a reality for the Scotch Whisky industry.

“The market access improvements contained within CETA will contribute to the economic growth of not only the UK, but also of Europe as a whole. 

“With the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs in the UK and adding value of £5 billion annually, any boost from CETA would be good for the entire UK economy and export success.”

The SWA believes CETA will benefit the entire European distilling industry by boosting sales to Canada with trade bodies spiritsEUROPE and Spirits Canada also onboard with the deal.

Spirits are the biggest agricultural-food export for the EU, worth €10bn globally per year, of which Scotch whisky exports account for more than £4bn of that total.

The SWA and spiritsEUROPE will also travel to the US to discuss issues of relevance in that market – the biggest by value for Scotch whisky with exports valuing £865m in 2016.