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SCOTS MP DEMAND MEETING WITH US AMBASSADOR OVER WHISKY TARIFFS

A cross-party group of Scottish MPs has written to the US Ambassador to demand a meeting over ‘devastating’ plans for import tariffs on Scotch whisky.

The letter to Woody Johnson, US Ambassador to the UK, has been authored by East Lothian Labour MP Martin Whitfield and signed by 13 MPs from Labour, the SNP, the Conservatives and the LibDems.


The proposed tariff increase of 25 per cent on single malt Scotch whisky is projected to cause a 20 per cent drop in exports to the US.


Single malt exports to the US in 2018 were worth over £380 million, and the whisky industry supports 10,000 jobs in Scotland.


Mr Whitfield’s constituency includes the Glenkinchie distillery in East Lothian.


In the letter, the MPs write: “We are seeking an urgent meeting to request that, in your position as US Ambassador, you would be willing to communicate these clear concerns to the US President.”

Martin Whitfield, Labour MP for East Lothian, said:
“The United States is a crucial market for the Scotch whisky industry, and I am deeply concerned that these new aggressive tariffs will have a devastating impact on our world-class whisky distilleries.
“This hike in tariffs will have a disproportionate impact on small companies in rural communities across Scotland and we are urging the US Ambassador to meet with us at the earliest opportunity to address these issues and relay our concerns to President Trump.
“It is in the interests of American consumers as well as jobs within the whisky industry that we seek an urgent delay to these unfair tariff rises before they come into effect on Friday, October 18.”