Boris Johnson urges Donald Trump to rethink huge tariffs on whisky

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a direct appeal to US President Donald Trump to reconsider planned 25 per cent tariffs on Scotch whisky.

Donald Trump is imposing tariffs on whisky. Pictures: PA
Donald Trump is imposing tariffs on whisky. Pictures: PA

An official readout of a call between the two leaders released by 10 Downing Street said that Mr Johnson urged the President to rethink the tariffs on a number of goods, which arise from a long-running dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Single malt whisky exported from Scotland to America will be hit with the new 25 per cent tariff in just a week as part of Donald Trump's retaliatory measures against EU subsidies.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the proposals 'profoundly worrying' for the industry, which exported £1 billion to the USA in 2018.

The readout said: "On trade, the Prime Minister underlined his disappointment at the US announcement of tariffs against UK and EU exports in the Airbus-Boeing dispute, which will harm a number of industries including Scotch Whisky. He pressed the President not to impose the tariffs.”


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Downing Street that in the call Mr Trump and Mr Johnson also discussed Turkey's invasion of Syria and the case of a US diplomat's wife who is being investigated by police over the hit-and-run death of British teenager Harry Dunn.

At First Minister's Questions last week, Ms Sturgeon said the UK Government needed to press Donald Trump on the upcoming tariffs.

She said: "I recently wrote to the Prime Minister highlighting the threat to the Scottish whisky industry in particular, I discussed the issue directly with the Scotch Whisky Association just a couple of weeks ago, and we will continue to encourage the UK government to support a negotiated settlement to this and we support the efforts of the EU to find that settlement.

"It's in nobody's interests to have trade wars like this, everyone ends up being a loser, and the sooner we find a resolution the better and I would encourage UK ministers to work hard to do so."