The Scotch Whisky Association has urged European Parliamentarians to ratify a new trade agreement between the EU and Canada.
The trade body (SWA) said signing off on a new Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the two regions would deliver significant benefits for the whisky industry.
The group said CETA would reduce internal trading restrictions, provide a level playing field for intellectual property rights for EU products in Canada and remove what it described as the “market-distorting effects” of liquor boards that operated in the North American state and applied mark-ups to imported products such as whisky.
The group said a further major breakthrough would be the removal of the current requirement in Canada to blend local spirit with bulk spirit imports that carry a geographical indication (GI).
It said the requirement had a detrimental impact on Scotch bottled in Canada as it could not benefit from its GI status.
SWA global affairs director Sarah Dickson said the ratification of CETA would give a boost to scotch in an export market currently worth around £77 million per annum.
“CETA would deliver a wide range of benefits for Scotch whisky and provide further opportunity in Canada which is already our thirteenth biggest export market by value,” Ms Dickson said.
“With the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs in the UK and adding value of £5 billion annually, any boosts from CETA would be good for the entire UK economy and export success.
“We are therefore urging MEPs to support CETA.”