Trade ministers have been accused of “failing” Scotch whisky, after the industry marked a year of tariffs.
President Donald Trump imposed 25% tariffs on single malts in October last year as part of a retaliation package against the EU’s illegal subsidies to plane-maker Airbus.
In August the tariff, which has so far cost the sector well over £360 million, was renewed for another 180 days.
Argyll and Bute SNP MP Brendan O’Hara blasted ministers for failing to resolve the dispute.
Mr O’Hara, speaking in the Commons, said: “Exactly a year ago the United States imposed these 25% tariffs on Scotch malt whisky, devastating exports and threatening thousands of Scottish jobs.
“Yet, despite his department making the removal of these damaging tariffs a priority, his government has failed to move our special friend in the White House an inch on these issues.
“Could the minister explain exactly why Scotch malt whisky, apart from being £360 million poorer, is in exactly the same place today as it was a year ago?”
Trade minister Greg Hands, responding, said: “The government takes very seriously the punitive US tariffs on UK goods, including on single malt Scotch whisky.
“We are fighting for the removal of all such tariffs and are pushing for a negotiated settlement to the underlying World Trade Organisation civil aviation cases.”
A senior government source told us the UK was “pushing the case very, very hard”, but could not guarantee a resolution any time soon.
“We can’t make any promises,” they said.