Tax plea

Whisky leaders urge US Congress to avoid tariff

Scotch whisky
Whisky leaders are holding talks in Washington

Scotch whisky leaders will be in the US this week to urge policymakers not to re-impose tariffs which led to severe disruption when they were introduced in 2019.

A delegation from the Scotch Whisky Association has been joined by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States to hold talks with members of congress and other partners in Washington DC.

A 25% tariff on single malt whisky between October 2019 and March 2021 – part of a dispute related to aerospace subsidies – cost the whisky trade an estimated £600 million in exports.

It was suspended in June 2021 for a five-year period, and the SWA is keen to establish new ground rules ahead of its expiry in the summer of 2026.

Ian McKendrick, the association’s international director, said: “There are 25 months left to eliminate the risk of the 25% tariff being reintroduced, and this issue must be the top of the list of the transatlantic trade agenda once this year’s elections have taken place.”



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