Responding to the UK Government announcement today (Thursday 4 March) confirming a four-month suspension of the 25 per cent tariffs on the export of single malt whisky to the United States, GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said:
“This is welcome news for Scotland and workers across our whisky and spirits sector, but amid the political backslapping, government and industry should pay tribute to the efforts of those workers on both sides of the Atlantic who fought long and hard to stop these tariffs.
“It should be a moment of reflection for the UK Government, not celebration. The economic damage has been done and livelihoods have been lost because Ministers failed to recognise the importance of this industry to Scotland and Britain from the outset of this tariffs war.
“The lessons need to be learned because whisky and spirits manufacturing is essential to the prosperity of the Scottish economy and it will be a cornerstone of Britain’s post-COVID recovery – it’s that important.
“Moving forward, Ministers must understand we won’t accept anything less than a trade deal with the US that protects and grows production and jobs, and the industry must understand that we will expect proper value for the workers who will deliver that future.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.