8 October 2019

Scottish Labour MPs have written to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to express "deep concern" over the proposed 25 per cent tariffs on Scotch whisky imposed by Donald Trump's US government.

The Scotch whisky industry provides £5.5bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy.

The MPs call on the Tory government to "leave no stone unturned over the next ten days to stop these 25% tariffs from coming into effect on 18 October".

Shadow Scotland secretary and Scottish Labour deputy leader Lesley Laird MP said:

"These 25 per cent tariffs have the potential to seriously damage the scotch whisky industry and the wider Scottish economy as a whole.

"Scotch whisky accounts for over 70% of Scotland's food and drink exports while the industry employs over 10,000 workers in Scotland, many of whom are employed in rural communities.

"The UK Government must do everything in its power to de-escalate the situation before the tariffs come into force, and must unequivocally commit not to retaliate with tariffs on bourbon and American whisky if we leave the EU at the end of October.

"One thing is clear - if this is the approach taken by the United States in future trade talks post-Brexit, we are in for a very bumpy ride.

"Donald Trump has always maintained that his trade policy will put America first.

" These tariffs indicated that he is not only serious about that, but that he will be brutal in his pursuit of what he believes will benefit America, regardless of what the repercussions are.

"If the relationship between the UK and the US is really as special as Boris Johnson claims, then he should pick up the phone and tell Donald Trump that this just won't fly."
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