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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

LOCHHEAD: US TARIFFS ARE A ‘MAJOR BLOW’ TO MORAY & SPEYSIDE

03/10/2019  

MSP WRITES TO UK GOVERNMENT SEEKING URGENT ACTION

Richard Lochhead MSP has responded to the announcement by the US Government that imports from the EU will face tariffs of 25% from 18th October.

Moray’s SNP MSP has described the new tariffs as a ‘major blow’ for Moray’s iconic products including Speyside’s whisky industry as well as local food producers and clothing manufacturers.

He has written urgently to the UK Government urging the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to put pressure on the EU and the US to reach a negotiated agreement and to ensure that these tariffs do not come into force on 18th October.

Commenting Mr Lochhead said:

“The US Government’s plans to impose a 25% tariff on imports of Scotch Whisky is a major blow for Speyside and Moray and would seriously impact our local economy. The US is the whisky sector’s biggest market and as the largest producer by volume, Speyside is going to be disproportionately affected, and I have very real concerns around what this will mean for investment and jobs in this key local sector.

“Of course, these tariffs will also hit other local producers and manufacturers hard, with biscuits and cashmere also included in the list of products affected. Given that many of Moray’s iconic brands and products are set to be affected, I would expect that Moray will be one of the areas hit hardest by these charges.

“Trade wars have few winners and any escalation would be a travesty, given that a dispute about subsidies for aircraft manufacturers now threatens to damage Moray’s iconic food and drink sectors as well as cashmere.

“At a time when businesses are facing the potential impact of Brexit, the last thing they need is further uncertainty of increased tariffs on exports to the US, and there is a precious window of opportunity in the two weeks ahead for negotiations to ensure these tariffs are avoided. 

“I am writing to the UK Government and also colleagues in the Scottish Government highlighting the potential impact on Moray. The Prime Minister must make this issue a priority and he needs to get on the phone to his friend in the White House, as well as to any friends he has left in the EU, to make sure these planned tariffs do not come into effect.”

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