GOVERNMENT MUST ACT TO PROTECT SCOTCH WHISKY SECTOR
February 1, 2020
I recently participated in a debate on the effect of US tariffs on Scottish whisky and called for the Government to reform excise duty in early course as the industry struggles to deal with this situation.
The US imposed a 25% import tariff on Scotch malt whisky and whisky liqueurs in October of last year as part of a dispute over aircraft subsidies. The impact of the tariffs is already being felt. In November 2019, the value of single malt Scotch whisky exports to the USA were £25.7 million, compared with £38.6 million in November 2018 - a drop of 33%.
The twin challenges of the US tariffs and Brexit represent a serious threat to our whisky industry, which is so important in supporting jobs and the wider economy of rural areas, such as Lochranza and Lagg on Arran. Post Brexit the UK loses all its collective bargaining strength as part of the EU, leaving UK industries hopelessly exposed. I therefore called on the Government to do all they can to support the industry, and you can watch my speech below.