City round-up

Truss facing whisky tariff demand; WeWork bailout

Macallan single malt whisky

Single malts were hit by tariff hike

Government ministers are under pressure to put negotiations on a new UK-US trade deal on hold until the White House drops a sharp rise in tariffs on products such as whisky, cashmere and biscuits.

Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, has been told that she should press for an easing of the new levies before engaging in any talks on a new free trade deal.

She recently claimed that after Brexit Britain would be safeguarded against “arbitrary tariffs”.

However, Scotch whisky leaders in particular have been shocked and dismayed by the 25% increase imposed by the US last Friday as part of a tit-for-tat response to EU subsidies to Airbus.

Single malt Scotch whiskies have been hard hit and the Scotch Whisky Association has warned of job losses.

WeWork receives bailout

SoftBank Group is investing $8 billion to shore up US office-space sharing startup WeWork whose value has plummeted from $47bn in January to $8bn.

The Japanese financial services company will hold an 80% stake in WeWork, which has recently opened offices in Edinburgh.

Co-founder Adam Neumann will step down as chief executive but the Wall Street Journal reported he could receive nearly $1.7bn as he sells his shares in the company and through other fees.

The company, which has helped to popularise co-working, has grown from a single office in New York to more than 500 locations around the world.

But it lost about $900m in the first six months of this year and was forced to pull a planned flotation as investors worried over its sky-high valuation and spending.

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