Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron and Mid-Kintyre and the Islands Councillor Alastair Redman have backed calls from the former Secretary of State for Scotland that the UK Government should engage directly with the USA to remove damaging tariffs imposed on malt whisky products.
Last year, the USA slapped a 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Scotch Whisky Liqueurs following a dispute with the EU over aid that the EU gave to Airbus in its competition with its American rival Boeing.
On Wednesday, David Mundell MP called on the UK Government to engage directly with the USA, and to agree a bilateral agreement to remove the tariff on Scotch Whisky products.
The Scotch Whisky Association noted that since the tariff came into force, exports to the USA are down 30%, resulting in industry losses of £300 million.
Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said: “These tariffs have been extremely damaging for Scotch whisky, and their continued existence is putting jobs on the line.
“It is clear that the EU has failed to negotiate a deal with the USA, so I support the calls for the UK Government to take its own initiative, and deal directly with the USA to deliver zero tariffs on Scotch whisky products.
Cllr Alastair Redman, Policy Lead for Economic Growth said: “Coming from Islay, which has ten working distilleries, I know the untold damage that this tariff is causing for the industry, and why it is vital that we work to end it.
“Exports are down, and people are worried about their jobs. I will work with anyone to ensure this matter is resolved swiftly.”