SNP MEPs urge trade war de-escalation

SNP MEPs Alyn Smith and Aileen McLeod have written to EU Trade Commissioner-Designate Phil Hogan to urge him to settle the US/EU trade dispute. 

It follows the US publishing a list of products from the EU to which tariffs of 25 per cent will apply from 18 October, including a range of iconic Scottish goods such as whisky, cashmere, shortbread, cheese and seafood.


The Scottish Government has raised the matter with both the UK Government and the whisky industry, pressing UK Government Ministers to do all they can to protect the interests of Scottish produce. 


Alyn said:


“This dangerous escalation in trade tension is a real threat for producers of Scotch whisky and the other Scottish products that are exported to the United States.


“A trade war is the last thing we need right now, and if anyone can get both sides around the negotiating table and walk them back, it’s Phil Hogan, backed by the geopolitical heft of the EU. 


“If this dangerous tit-for-tat is on the cards when we are part of the largest trading bloc in the world, just imagine how vulnerable the UK would be to the whims of the Trump administration if the UK leaves the EU.”


Aileen added:


The 25% levy will be applied on a whole range of goods crucial to Scotland's exports, like textile exports including cashmere and also shortbread, cheese and seafood.  


“This dispute began with aeroplanes but the Scottish produce that now stands to be affected has nothing to do with aviation and the punitive tariffs are a real risk to jobs and investment. 


“No-one wins in a trade war and we must protect Scottish produce from becoming collateral damage. That’s why Alyn and I are urging the EU trade commissioner-designate to intervene and will support the Commission in any move it makes to de-escalate this dispute.”