Two north-east MSPs have warned the whisky industry faces a “devastating blow” as a result of US tariffs.
Last year, administrators in the States imposed fees of up to 25% on a number of products, including whisky.
Estimates from within the industry suggest exports to the US are down 30%, while the scheme has cost the sector around £200 million.
Now reports from the White House suggest the scheme is to be extended.
And north-east MSPs Stewart Stevenson and Gillian Martin – whose constituencies include a number of distilleries – have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stand up for the sector.
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Mr Stevenson said: “If these reports from the US are accurate, it could be a devastating blow for the whisky sector.
“In my Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency, the whisky industry is a vital sector and provides jobs, tourism and a boost to our local economy.
“Boris Johnson needs to do much more than simply pay lip service to the sector. Scotch Whisky plays a crucial role in the success of our global food and drinks sector.”
Ms Martin added: “Once again this Tory Government has abandoned the whisky industry and the north-east of Scotland.
“Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to commit to his pledge to protect the sector from financial harm and these punishing tariffs.
“The Tory Government must act now if it’s serious about taking every step it can to oppose and end these punitive US-imposed tariffs.”
International trade secretary Liz Truss said she had held talks with senior US figures.
She said: “In Washington DC last week I met my opposite number Bob Lighthizer, the US trade representative, to warn against new tariffs being imposed on great British products like gin and blended whisky. I am pleased that the US has not applied these additional tariffs, and welcome the decision to lift tariffs on shortbread.
“However, the announcement does not address tariffs that already exist on goods like single malt Scotch whisky. These tariffs damage industry and livelihoods on both sides of the Atlantic and are in nobody’s interests. I am therefore stepping up talks with the US to remove them as soon as possible.”