Trade secretary vows to fight 'unfair' tariffs on Scotch whisky ahead of next round of US talks

Trade secretary Liz Truss pledged to fight US tariffs on Scotch whisky, calling them “unacceptable and unfair”.

“I will fight to consign these unfair tariffs to the bin of history”, she wrote in an op-ed in the Telegraph, while accusing the European Union of failing to protect British and Scottish interests.

The US government said last week it would maintain 15 per cent tariffs on Airbus aircraft and 25 per cent tariffs on other European goods as part of a long-running trade dispute, although it held off adding some extra tariffs as it had threatened.

Britain had said it would step up demands for the United States to drop tariffs on goods such as single malt Scotch whisky after the industry warned a decision by Washington to retain the levy was putting its future at risk.

“US tariffs on Scotch whisky are unacceptable and unfair. I cannot be clearer about that,” Ms Truss wrote. “Whisky-making is one of our great industries and a jewel in our national crown.”

Truss said she would meet with her US counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, in the coming weeks, as round four of US negotiations begin, where she will address the existing tariffs on single malt Scotch and a host of other products.

“On Japan, we have consensus on the major elements of a deal that will go beyond the agreement the EU has with Japan”, she added, reaffirming earlier reports that both countries seek to agree on a trade deal by the end of August.

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