WE are very disappointed that the US Government has announced a tariff of 25% on imports of single malt Scotch whisky and liqueurs from the UK. This is a blow to the Scotch Whisky industry.

Despite the fact that this dispute is about aircraft subsidies, our sector has been hit hard, with single malt Scotch whisky representing more than half of the total value of UK products on the US Government tariff list (amounting to over $460 million).

The tariff will undoubtedly damage the sector. The US is our largest and most valuable single market, and more than £1 billion of Scotch whisky was exported there last year. The tariff will put our competitiveness and Scotch whisky’s market share at risk.

We are also concerned that it will disproportionately impact smaller producers. We expect to see a negative impact on investment and job creation in Scotland, and longer term impacts on productivity and growth across the industry and our supply chain. We believe the tariff will also have a cumulative impact on consumer choice.

Karen Betts is the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association