The head of the Irish Whiskey Association has warned the escalating trade war between the US and EU could potentially devastate the Irish whiskey industry.

William Lavelle said that currently there are no tariffs on Irish whiskey in the US.

But the EU is proposing placing tariffs on US whiskey in retaliation for the US placing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe.

Mr Lavelle said there is a "significant fear" that the US in turn would impose tariffs on whiskey, which he said would be "devastating" for the Irish whiskey industry.

Mr Lavelle urged the EU to carefully consider what products it would place on a list for tariffs and to avoid placing Irish whiskey on the list.

He said that 90 years ago prohibition nearly wiped out the industry, but now with widespread competition Irish whiskey does not need the burden of tariffs.