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Scotch whisky firms lost £1billion last year due to Covid and punitive US tariffs

SCOTCH whisky producers lost £1billion in exports last year — caused by the double blow of Covid and punitive US tariffs.

Bosses warn thousands of jobs will be at risk unless an urgent trade deal is struck with new President Joe Biden.

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Scotch whisky makers lost £1billion in exports last year

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Scotch whisky makers lost £1billion in exports last yearCredit: Getty

Transatlantic sales have slumped since a 25 per cent levy was slapped on British whisky, salmon and cashmere after a US row with the EU.

Yesterday distillers urged Trade Secretary Liz Truss to get the tariffs removed fast.

Ms Truss has vowed to “jump on a plane” as soon as she can, to get them lifted in a new post-Brexit trade deal.

Figures this week are expected to show 40 per cent of lost exports are due to the tariffs, costing the industry an estimated £500million.

Distillers have urged Liz Truss to strike an urgent trade deal with President Joe Biden

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Distillers have urged Liz Truss to strike an urgent trade deal with President Joe BidenCredit: PA:Press Association

Whisky producers also want Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut duty on spirits in his March 3 Budget.

Graeme Littlejohn, of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The tax burden is one of the highest in the world.”

A Whitehall official said: “We’ll be picking up with the new US administration to get the tariffs lifted and support Scottish jobs.”

Campaigners are also calling on Rishi Sunak to cut duty on spirits in his March Budget

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Campaigners are also calling on Rishi Sunak to cut duty on spirits in his March BudgetCredit: Reuters
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