The MP for Stirling has called on the Prime Minister to intercede personally to try and prevent the imposition of new tariffs on Single Malt Whisky and a range of other goods that are due to start on 18 October.
The United States of America have been given permission to impose tariffs of $7.5bn on goods imported from the European Union from the 18th October. This was after the World Trade Organisation judged that some countries in the EU had unlawfully been subsidising Airbus for years. The U.S. Government has fought a fifteen year legal battle to prove that the European plane manufacturer, Airbus, was subsidised against WTO rules and this affected the ability of Boeing to compete fairly.
Trade officials from the United States of America have stated that a tariff of 10% would be imposed on aircraft and 25% of agriculture and other items. This will result in a 25% tariff being imposed on single malt Scotch Whisky. Other items such as biscuits, cashmere and books will also be affected. The EU have threatened to increase their tariffs on goods from the United States of America in retaliation despite being found to be at fault.
The UK Government is seeking confirmation from the World Trade Organisation that the UK has always complied fully with the rules and that we should be exempt from these tariffs as it was other European countries that have acted wrongly.
The Stirling area has two of the most important and globally recognised distilleries – Deanston and Glengoyne , both who have significant exports to the USA.
Stephen Kerr has written directly to the Prime Minister asking him to personally intercede with the President to try and get UK businesses exempted
In response to the news, Stephen Kerr MP said:
“This is highly disappointing news for a key Scottish industry. The United States of America is the biggest export market for Scotch Whisky, but introducing these tariffs will have a negative impact, including to the two local distilleries. It is fundamentally unfair that they should be punished due to the actions of the EU. There are many other small businesses that export the other items included that will also be badly affected. I have urged the PM to talk directly to the President urgently.