US trade benefits Scotland as Aberdeen hosts second Transatlantic Dialogue

  • The International Trade Secretary welcomes his US counterpart, Ambassador Tai, to Aberdeen to discuss how transatlantic trade benefits the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK.
  • The discussions focus on key sectors for the Scottish economy and bring together iconic Scottish companies including Walker’s Shortbread and an innovative energy SME, Enpro-Subsea.
  • Figures show that US investment supports more than 100,000 jobs and generates almost £50 billion for the Scottish economy.

The UK will host the second Transatlantic Trade Dialogue in Aberdeen on Monday 25 April aimed at strengthening our £200 billion trade partnership with the US.

Against the backdrop of Aberdeen’s thriving tech scene and world-leading energy sector, the dialogue will focus on agreed priority areas, including digital and innovation, green trade, support for SMEs and business resilience. the supply chain.

The latest figures show the importance of transatlantic trade for Scottish workers, businesses and industry:

  • Nearly a quarter of the country’s service exports go to the United States
  • Scotch whiskey exports continue to play a vital role in the wider UK-US trade, with nearly two-thirds of drinks exported to the US coming from Scotland
  • The United States is the largest foreign investor in Scotland, according to EY
  • US businesses support over 100,000 jobs, generating nearly £50bn for the economy

Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, will discuss the importance of trade for creating jobs and spreading economic opportunity across the UK – a key part of our upgrade program level.

The dialogue will bring together leaders from across Scottish central and local government, a wide range of businesses as well as trade unions and civil society groups such as the Trades Union Congress.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

This dialogue gives us a platform to explore more modern digital trading methods. It will identify and resolve barriers to trade to make it cheaper and easier for businesses in Scotland and across the UK to do business with our American friends.

As leaders in green innovation, it also gives us the opportunity to harness trade to address common challenges such as climate change.

The Trade Secretary met leaders from Scotland’s food and drink industry on Sunday evening (April 24), including Walker’s shortbread and Clootie McToot.

Also among the participants was the American spirits company Brown-Forman, which owns three of Scotland’s top distilleries GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh and employs hundreds of people in the UK. The company has welcomed the lifting of tariffs on US whiskey thanks to the recent resolution of the S232 steel and aluminum tariff dispute, and revealed that it now plans a multi-million pound investment in its facilities Scottish.

Prior to the dialogue, Trevelyan and Tai will visit offshore energy SME, Enpro-Subsea in Aberdeen, where Trevelyan will highlight the UK’s energy strategy to ensure energy security and independence, as we support fuel transition fossils to new technologies. The company demonstrates that achieving our environmental goals must go hand in hand with an evolving industry in the North Sea.

Discussions at the dialogue will provide a solid foundation for further engagement with the United States. This includes ongoing work at the state level, such as mutual recognition of qualifications, as well as the continued removal of barriers to trade.

The government has already helped lift a ban on UK lamb and beef exports and resolved the large civil aircraft dispute, which scrapped 25% tariffs on Scotch whiskey, leading to d huge gains for Scottish growers and exporters.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said:

We are delighted to host today’s talks in Aberdeen, marking a positive development in our already strong trade relationship with the United States. Our enhanced partnership will create new, high-quality business opportunities in Scotland, particularly in our thriving food and drink, technology and energy sectors.

At a time when we face immense global challenges, joining our friends in the United States to break down barriers, improve communication and encourage new, innovative ways of working together will support jobs across Scotland and across the country. beyond, for the benefit of companies of all sizes.

Shevaun Haviland, chief executive of the UK Chambers of Commerce, said:

The UK and the US are natural trading partners. These dialogues are an opportunity to build on this relationship and set ambitious new standards for sustainable trade. In a changing and uncertain world, we must also seize this opportunity to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains and stabilize prices.

Small businesses make up the majority of our membership and the UK economy, so it is essential that they have a voice in these talks and can reap the benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. Supply chain disruption and soaring inflation have cut operating margins for many small businesses to next to nothing, so lowering the costs of trade with the US would be a huge boost for them. . This would then help communities across the UK to see the benefits that improved trade with the US could bring.

Allan Hogarth, Executive Director of the Scottish North American Business Council (SNABC) said:

The SNABC looks forward to participating in the Aberdeen session of the Transatlantic Dialogue, building on the success of the Baltimore session last month. These talks will cover areas vital to the Scottish, UK and US economies – it’s a great opportunity to make sure Scottish voices are heard in this, our biggest export market, and to try to make it simple for us all to continue to prosper and strengthen the transatlantic relationship to our mutual benefit.


  • According to EY, the United States was the largest contributor of Scottish FDI projects in 2020. The 38 investment projects from the United States accounted for 35.5% of all projects registered in Scotland in 2020. EY’s Attractiveness Survey Scotland, June 2021
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