A local MP has slammed Prime Minister Boris Johnson for ‘failing to protect’ Scotland’s whisky industry after the U.S took steps to impose more 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; and now following a review the Trump administration will continue to inflict tariffs 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.”
Now Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has called on the UK government to act quickly to protect Scotland’s exports and jobs.
Gavin told Renfrewshire News: “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.”