But among the Trump administration’s policies still in force is a 25 per cent tariff on single malt Scotch whisky. It was imposed in October 2019, three months before the UK left the European Union, because of a trade dispute.
However the argument had nothing to do with whisky but was instead a retaliation by the US for subsidies given to planemaker Airbus by EU member states, including the UK, that was imposed with the sanction of the World Trade Organisation. As a result, Scotch whisky exports have fallen by about 30 per cent.
There are many obvious downsides to Brexit and searching for upsides remains a difficult task, but surely one should be that the UK could be excused from this US-EU dispute. Certainly, continuing to harm Scotland’s whisky industry will have no impact whatsoever on the decisions taken in Brussels.
Anyone thinking this is a minor issue should think again as whisky industry employs 11,000 people in Scotland and Scotch is worth over £5.5 billion to the UK economy.
So, getting the tariff removed should be among the first items on the agenda when Boris Johnson speaks to Joe Biden. It would allow the Prime Minister to celebrate a benefit of Brexit and positive news for Scotland at a time when support for independence has been given a considerable boost by the UK’s departure from the European Union.
How many minds it would change is perhaps debatable, but it would help our economy at a time when that is most needed.