Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Speyside producers counting cost of punitive 25% US tariffs

Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail director of prestige (left) and Ewen Mackintosh, Gordon & MacPhail managing director (right).
Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail director of prestige (left) and Ewen Mackintosh, Gordon & MacPhail managing director (right).

Punitive 25% US tariffs imposed on a number of traditional Scottish products are having a “marked impact” on Speyside, the boss of a Moray-based whisky specialist has warned.

Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Gordon & MacPhail (G&M), said it felt like three of the area’s important sectors were being “hit quite hard” by an unrelated trade dispute between America and the EU.

The US was allowed to impose the duty hike on £6.1 billion of goods it imports from the EU, including malt whisky, shortbread and cashmere, following a World Trade Organisation ruling at the start of last month.

The decision found the EU had failed to remove subsidies for European aircraft-maker Airbus, causing a loss in sales for US rival plane manufacturer Boeing.

Mr Mackintosh said it was “frustrating” traditional Speyside and Moray industries were being “dragged into” the row.

As G&M announced annual results showing strong increases in its profits and turnover, he said: “In the coming months we are going to have to work out how we are going to minimise the impact. It is unfortunate that this part of Scotland is feeling it.”

Recently Jim Walker, joint managing director of Aberlour-based shortbread brand Walkers, said the Speyside village was facing a “disproportionate penalty” as a result of the US tariff hike.

Last night the concerns were echoed by another major Moray employer, cashmere specialist Johnstons of Elgin.

Johnstons’ CEO Simon Cotton said: “Due to the introduction of the tariffs and uncertainty around their duration we are currently absorbing 25% tariff on sales of knitwear to the United States. Obviously, this is not something that we can continue indefinitely, and it is an additional strain on the business in a challenging market.

“We hope this situation will be resolved imminently for all sectors currently affected and, in particular, Scottish knitwear.”

The figures released by distillers, drinks wholesalers and retailers Speymalt Whisky Distributors, which trades as G&M, showed pre-tax profits at the family-owned firm rose to £15.6 million in the 12 months to the end of February, from £12.9m the year before. The company’s turnover rose 4% to £41m over the same period.

Mr Mackintosh said: “We’re pleased to report another successful year and to be pushing ahead with our planned growth strategy.”

G&M employed an average of 162 people in 2018-19 and said it planned further recruitment in sales and operations as the business grows.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]