The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has reported that the US tariffs on Scotch Whisky cost £500m in lost exports.

According to the industry body, exports of Single Malt Scotch Whisky to the US have fallen by 35%.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Karen Betts said: “The current situation is unsustainable. This is being borne by large and small producers alike, who are losing sales and market share in what has been for decades the industry’s largest and most valuable market, which they may never now recover.”

The losses are due to a 25% tariff imposed on exports from the European Union (EU), including scotch whisky, in October 2019.

The tariffs were introduced by the US in retaliation to an aerospace dispute around the EU subsidies provided to Airbus.

Betts added: “It’s very hard for Scotch Whisky producers to understand why the UK government is so unwilling to address the UK violations of WTO rules on aerospace subsidies at the root of the tariffs.

“The UK government must now act urgently and call for the immediate suspension of all tariffs on unrelated sectors and, at the same time, redouble efforts with the new US administration to resolve the aerospace dispute and lift tariffs permanently.

“The government must also offer some support to distillers, who are shouldering tariff losses alongside dealing with unprecedently difficult trading conditions as a result of Brexit and global restrictions to curb Covid-19 transmission.”

In addition, SWA is asking for a ‘sustained push’ to bring down the current 150% basic customs duty in India.

In September, SWA urged local consumers to visit distilleries to help the industry recover from a drop in international tourists due to Covid-19.