Trade with the USA from Scotland was worth £5.5 billion in 2017 – an increase of 11.1% from 2016.
Growing exports and promoting Scottish produce to the USA is being undertaken by Trade and Investment Minister in the Scottish Government Ivan McKee visiting the States.
Ivan McKee said:
“The export statistics show how important our trade relationship with the US is for our economy, and our new Export Growth Plan will strengthen this further.
“This visit will build on the existing links between our countries and provide new opportunities for us to work together and share expertise in areas such as energy and renewables, life sciences and innovation, and FinTech.”
Ivan McKee continued:
“With the uncertainty of Brexit hanging over our economy, it is more important than ever to reassure the world that Scotland is an open and welcoming country and an attractive place to invest in, visit and live.”
Single Scotch Malt Whisky
Only last week a 25% tariff was introduced by the US on exports of single malt whisky from Scotland and Northern Ireland. In a trade battle between the US and the EU other products also face increased tariffs.
Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association said:
“The tariff will undoubtedly damage the Scotch Whisky sector. The US is our largest and most valuable single market, and over £1 billion of Scotch Whisky was exported there last year. The tariff will put our competitiveness and Scotch Whisky’s market share at risk.
” It means that Scotch Whisky is now paying for over 60% of the UK’s tariff bill for the subsidies it provided to Airbus, eight times more than the next most valuable UK product on the tariff list. That Single Malts are being targeted is particularly damaging for smaller producers, who stand to be the hardest hit.”
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) estimate that single malt exports will drop by 20% over the coming year.
Karen Betts continued:
“Scotch Whisky has been imported tariff-free to the United States for the last 25 years. This move undermines decades of hard work and investment which has seen Scotch Whisky sales boom in the US. It will impact both our industry and its supply chain.”
The SWA is calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to support distillers including reducing the UK Government tax on Scotch .
Reporter: Fiona Grahame