Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

SWA calls on whisky fans to urge government to ‘call time on tariffs’

Published:  20 July, 2020

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has launched a campaign urging whisky lovers to write to their MPs underlining the damage that US tariffs are causing to the Scotch whisky industry and asking them to “urge the government to call time on tariffs”. 

The  #CallTimeOnTariffs campaign follows tariffs imposed by the US on imports of single malt Scotch whisky having hit the industry hard in its most valuable export market - a 25% tariff was imposed on single malt Scotch whisky in October 2019. 

Since then, exports of all Scotch whisky to the US have fallen by 30%, amounting to over £200m in lost exports, according to the SWA.  

The situation was now “more urgent than ever”, with the US government threatening to raise existing tariffs or introduce new ones on blended Scotch and British gin later this summer, said the SWA. 

It is now vital for the UK government to “work fast with the US government to call time on tariffs”, said Karen Betts, CEO of the SWA.

“The UK must use the opportunity of ongoing trade talks with the US to work out what each side needs to do to resolve their differences and bring an end to tariffs. The damage being inflicted on unrelated sectors such as Scotch, shortbread and cashmere, as well as on American whiskey, is simply unjustifiable. We are paying a heavy price for trade disputes that have nothing to do with us,” she said. 

Producers across the board were “feeling the pinch – which has only been made worse by the impact of the coronavirus on our global exports and sales”, she added. 

“We now need our supporters to root for us and to tell governments that disputes between aircraft manufacturers should remain between aircraft manufacturers. And that traditional Scottish businesses should be left to thrive and trade in open markets, to the benefit of our businesses, our employees, our communities and our supply chain.”

The SWA has warned that if tariffs on Scotch whisky are not removed this summer, ahead of the US election, the industry will face “many more months of losses of sales in the US which will lead to a loss in market share”.    

Details of the #CallTimeOnTariffs campaign, including a letter template, can be found via the SWA website.