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Johnson urges Trump to lift tariffs on Scotch

Published:  06 November, 2019

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged US President Donald Trump to lift tariffs on Scotch whisky.

Johnson’s plea, which formed part of a discussion last night between the two leaders about the future of US trade policy, follows concerns that the newly imposed US tax could wipe £1bn off single malt sales over the next year.

"The Prime Minister urged the president to lift tariffs on goods including Scotch whisky, and ahead of a US decision on additional tariffs urged him not to impose tariffs on car exports," a Number 10 spokesman said.

Last month, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Karen Betts, said the imposition of a 25% tariff was "bad news" for the industry, which the SWA has estimated could lose as much as 20% of its sales to the US, currently worth £1bn in the next 12 months.

The US imposed tariffs on a record $7.5bn worth of EU goods on 18 October, with Airbus, French wine and Scotch whiskies among the high-profile targets.

It is estimated America represents 10.8% of the global volume of Scotch and 22% of global value.