‘The latest announcement to move towards a 25 per cent tariff between the EU and US on scotch whisky is a significant blow for the sector, which has been somewhat caught in the cross fire of retaliation regarding the Airbus WTO ruling.
‘This is not a complete surprise to us or the sector as there have been rumblings for some time, but the US is a key market for scotch whisky so any imposition of tariffs could have a detrimental impact on key brands across the sector. However, businesses now have a window of opportunity, albeit a short period of time before 18 October, to implement key strategies to mitigate any risk.
‘It will also be interesting to see what happens post-Brexit. Will the same tariffs apply to Scottish businesses once the UK leaves the EU? Might the US offer the UK a pre-trade deal olive branch on these tariffs for the scotch whisky sector? Regardless, scotch whisky businesses need to continue to proactively consider their options now to mitigate any future risks.'