Trade Secretary pledges to turn up the heat on US to remove tariffs on Scottish whisky
LIZ TRUSS has vowed to keep fighting for Scotland’s whisky industry after the US spared other British alcoholic drinks from tariffs amid a transatlantic trade war.
The Trade Secretary welcomed a White House decision to avoid slapping charges on imports of gin and blended whisky – but hit out at the duties on single malts.
She vowed to continue talks with her American counterpart Bob Lighthizer in an attempt to get the tax lifted. The two sides have already agreed to end levies on shortbread. Ms Truss said: “These tariffs damage industry and livelihoods on both sides of the Atlantic and are in nobody’s interests. I am therefore stepping up talks with the US to remove them as soon as possible.”
The 25pc single malt tariff was imposed as part of a 16-year battle at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) between the US and European Union, with each claiming that the other handed out illegal subsidies to support their domestic aerospace industries. Exports of Scotch whisky are down 30pc since tariffs were imposed.
In October the US won a ruling that allowed it to pile $7.5bn (£5.7bn) of tariffs on imports from the EU in retaliation for EU state subsidies to Airbus. A reciprocal claim about US aid for Boeing is expected to get a verdict from the WTO in the next few months, paving the way for similar action.