Scottish salmon sector welcomes US tariff decision

Published on
February 19, 2020

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) has voiced its relief at the decision taken by the United States to not impose higher tariffs on salmon exported to the market.

SSPO said that the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) pulled back from including Scottish salmon on a list of goods selected to have higher tariffs imposed on them amid the escalating E.U.-U.S. trade dispute over aircraft manufacturer subsidies. 

“We are relieved that our farmers will be able to continue sending top quality Scottish salmon to the U.S.A. without any new barriers in their way,” SSPO Director of Strategic Engagement Hamish Macdonell said. “As the recently published export statistics show, the U.S.A. is a very important market for Scottish salmon, with sales in 2019 valued at GBP 179 million (USD 232.4 million, EUR 215.1 million). Most of our exports to the U.S.A. are fresh, chilled whole salmon but there is an increase in sales of salmon fillets – worth an additional GBP 66 million (USD 85.7 million, EUR 79.3 million) that would have been hit by tariffs.”

On 14 February 2020, the USTR announced that the United States was authorized to take countermeasures on USD 7.5 billion (USD 9.7 billion, EUR 9 billion) worth of goods after its victory in its unfair trade practices case against the E.U., France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 

According to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures, U.K. exports of Scottish salmon reached GBP 618 million (USD 802.3 million, EUR 743 million) in 2019, representing their highest-ever value. The volume shipped to overseas markets totaled 94,000 metric tons (MT), an increase of 26 percent on the previous year.

The United States was the sector’s second-most important market, bested only by France, which accrued sales of GBP 221 million (USD 287 million, EUR 265.7 million).

The E.U. accounted for 56 percent of the volume of global Scottish salmon exports and 52 percent of the value, while the U.S. trade’s growth in value and volume of 28 percent resulted in exports of 25,000 MT to the market.

Photo courtesy of StockSolutions/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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