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Friday, May 24, 2024

Tory Government Continued Inaction Failing Scotland’s Whisky Sector

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U.S. Administration imposes a further round of tariffs on Scotch Whisky.

The SNP has criticised Boris Johnson’s continued failure to protect Scotland’s vital whisky industry, after the Trump administration took steps to impose another round of punishing tariffs on the sector.

In October last year, the U.S administration imposed tariffs of 25% on a broad variety of products, including Scotch whisky.

It’s now been reported that following a review the Trump administration will continue to inflict tariffs in its long-running dispute – with Scotch whisky once again included on the list.

Earlier figures have shown that U.S. tariffs have cost Scotland’s whisky sector around £200m – with exports to the U.S. down by 30% since the measures came into effect.

The Scotch Whisky Association previously warned that the industry was still waiting for Johnson to come good on his word to tackle the tariffs, stating “he (Boris Johnson) said that he would work to remove the tariffs.

But after months of asking we are really yet to see a clear plan from the UK government about how they intend to resolve this.”

Brendan O’Hara (pictured), the SNP MP for Argyll and Bute and chair of Westminster’s APPG on Scotch Whisky, said:

“The reported decision by the Trump administration to continue imposing tariffs will deliver a devastating body blow to Scotland’s vital whisky sector.

“The industry is looking to Boris Johnson to come good on his pledge to protect the sector from these punishing tariffs – it’s beyond shameful that we are still waiting for action to follow his rhetoric.

“Scotch whisky plays a crucial role in the success of our global food and drinks sector and our economy.

“However, since the tariffs were imposed, the economic cost of exports to the U.S. continues to hit home to the tune of around £200m.

“For all his rhetoric and fleeting visits to impacted areas in Scotland, the reality is that the Tory leader has abandoned the Scotch whisky sector in its time of need.

“If the Tory government is serious about protecting our vital industries then it will take every step it can to oppose and end these punitive U.S-imposed tariffs.”

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