SWA expects a 20% decline in single malt exports to the US

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the 25% tariff will have significant impact on the whisky industry


Since 18 October 2019, a 25% tariff has been implemented on various goods when exported from the EU to the US. In addition to foods such as cheese, olive oil, fish and seafood, also wine and several spirits including single malt whisky, are affected.

Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, expressed great concern about these trade complications and predicted severe economic consequences for the Scottish whisky industry. Over the next 12 months, exports of Scottish single malt are expected to decline by 20%, which will become less competitive in the US market. Smaller producers, in particular, are likely be hit hard and many jobs in the whisky industry itself, but also supplying farmers and other sectors involved in the alcohol industry, are at risk.

The US is an important and rapidly growing market for Scottish whisky whose exports there have increased from £ 280 million in 1994 to £ 1 billion last year. In 2018 33% of the exported Scotch whisky was single malt.

The damage to Scottish whisky is likely to be as severe as the damage that the US whiskey industry saw when it was hit by the import tariffs installed by the EU in July 2018, Karen Betts says. Together with American whiskey producers, the SWA has for many months been calling to move away from this damaging tit-for-tat trade policy.

Credits: Scotch Whisky Association