10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 13

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week 13

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 13 of 2024 – March 25th-31st, 2024.

Key News

General Export News

1. Baltimore bridge crash causes supply chain concerns

Concerns have been raised of a “ripple effect” on global supply chains after a container ship crashed into a bridge in the US city of Baltimore.

The ship, named the Dali, hit a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early hours of Tuesday morning, causing it to collapse.

The bridge spanned the entrance to the Port of Baltimore, the busiest port in the US for car exports and the ninth-busiest for foreign cargo.

Officials have said that maritime traffic through the port – which last year amounted to more than 47 million tonnes of foreign cargo – will be suspended “until further notice”.

The suspension could have a “significant ripple effect on global supply chains”, Marco Forgione MIEx, director general at The Institute of Export and International Trade, told the BBC.

Source: BBC News

2. UK and the State of Indiana hold Second Working Group meeting

On Thursday 21 March 2024, representatives of the United Kingdom (UK) and state of Indiana governments attended the Second Working Group meeting in Indianapolis under the UK – Indiana Memorandum of Understanding. This meeting follows the first government-to-government working group discussion held in December 2022 and an economic discussion focused on the energy transition held in October 2023.

HM Consul General at the British Consulate in Chicago, Alan Gogbashian, co-chaired the meeting with Indiana Secretary of Commerce, David Rosenberg, which was attended by officials from the respective governments along with a broad range of representatives across business, industry, and academia. The discussion focused on ‘Future Frontiers: Applications at the Intersection of AI, Life Sciences, and Semiconductors’ and committed to further cooperation in these areas.

The state of Indiana will host the 2024 Indiana Global Economic Summit in Indianapolis, 23-24 May 2024. The summit marks the second anniversary of the signing of the MoU between the UK and the state of Indiana and provides an opportunity to highlight the progress made on delivery against the MoU and the resulting strengthening of the ties between the two economies.

Source: GOV.uk

3. UK goods face new Canada tariffs in latest Brexit trade blow

Britain’s exports to Canada will be hit with new duties next week after the two countries failed to extend trade rules in negotiations for a new post-Brexit deal.

Two people familiar with the negotiations said there will be no last-minute extension to save British products from facing extra tariffs at the Canadian border on Monday.

From April 1, British vehicle, chemical and processed foods exporters that rely on EU parts will lose their tariff-free access to the Canadian market. That temporary right had been agreed under the U.K.-Canada trade deal rolled over after Brexit in 2021.

Britain had hoped to swerve the cliff edge as it negotiated an updated trade deal with Canada. But British trade chief Kemi Badenoch froze negotiations in late January over Canadian demands for the U.K. to give market access to hormone-treated beef.

Some £700 million in British automotive exports will now face a 6.1 percent tariff (£3,000 per vehicle on average) from April 1, with several sectors, including chemicals and processed food, also hit. Chemical exports alone were worth more than £1 billion last year.”

Source: Politico.eu

4. UK politicians need to get over Brexit and prioritise trade, say businesses

Britain’s politicians are failing to champion UK trade and inward investment because of fears over reawakening old divisions on Brexit, the British Chambers of Commerce has warned. Goods exports and inward investment have struggled in the years since Britain left the EU, but the UK trade association warned that both Conservative and Labour politicians were still failing to deliver on the promise of “Global Britain” that was made after Brexit.

Source: FT

5. Scotland has lost £100 million a year in salmon exports to EU

Brexit has caused salmon exports from Scotland to the European Union to shrink by £100 million a year, dealing a crushing blow to a once thriving industry.

According to reports in the Financial Times, the volume of Scottish salmon exports to the EU last year dropped 17 per cent to 44,000 tonnes from 53,000 tonnes in 2019.

Strong global demand meant that the financial bleed was contained at 3 per cent, but Salmon Scotland said sales of the fish, the UK’s biggest food export, would have ballooned to £430 million last year if volumes had been sustained at 2019 levels.

That equates to about £75 million-£100 million less than would have been expected on growth rates recorded before leaving the EU, the trade body said.

Source: The London Economic

6. Tories ‘Slaughtered’ UK Farming With ‘Worst Trade Deals In The World’, Campaigner Says

A farming campaigner said the government has negotiated “the worst” post-Brexit trade deals which “slaughter” farmers.

More than 120 tractors drove past the Houses of Parliament on Monday evening as part of a go-slow protest over Westminster’s lacklustre support for the farming industry.

Organised by Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent, the protesters said government policies were putting UK food security in jeopardy.

Source: Yahoo News

7. Is there a market to export more UK red meat and dairy to Switzerland?

In February 2023, the Swiss Federal Council approved discussions to develop the 2019 trade agreement between Switzerland and the UK. This was created following the UK leaving the EU.

According to the UK government, in 2022 trade with Switzerland totalled £52.8bn. Switzerland is the tenth-largest trading partner of the UK. The UK has opportunities to grow its agricultural exports through reducing or removing tariff rate quotas (TRQs). Currently, TRQs are very strict and expensive for red meat and dairy.

A large proportion (45%) of farm income in Switzerland comes from farm support payments (OECD, 2023). However, over time these payments have been reducing and so has agricultural production. When coupled with rising production costs over the last few years, this is threatening specialised domestic production of red meat and dairy. This is especially the case for numbers of dairy producers, which have fallen by more than half over the last 25 years. Dairy farms are disappearing at double the rate of other food producers.”

Source: AHDB

8. How British luxury cars are still being sold in Russia despite sanctions

“British luxury cars worth up to £650,000 are still being sold in Moscow and St Petersburg two years after the government imposed tough sanctions banning exports to Russia.

Wealthy Russians are buying Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, built in factories in the UK and independently imported through neighbouring countries to flashy showrooms.

The vehicles are shipped from British ports to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Belarus, where they are registered and transported by Russians or their agents on to Moscow and St Petersburg, industry sources told The Times.

Source: The Times

9. ‘World first’: Wāhine Māori tech leaders to explore trade in UK and Europe

Te Taumata, representing a voice of Māori interests in global trade, is to spearhead a world-first wāhine Māori in tech trade initiative in the UK and Europe, alongside New Zealand innovation agency Callaghan Innovation.

The knowledge exchange, which takes place in June this year, will see ten wāhine Māori tech leaders explore trade opportunities in Ireland, France and the UK, culminating in participation at London Tech Week.

Free trade agreements with the UK and EU include a Māori trade and cooperation chapter that provides a new platform to advance Māori economic aspirations. The UK is one of only three countries with a tech industry valuation of more than one trillion US dollars.

The UK-FTA came into force in May 2023 and the EU-FTA will take effect from 1 May this year.

Source: Te Ao News

10. Britain’s Brexit wine duty regime is ‘unworkable’, industry warns

Prime minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to introduce a highly complex tax regime for UK wine importers is going to drive up prices, reduce consumer choice and tie up small businesses in red tape, the industry has warned.

From February 2025 the duty on wine will increase by increments of 2 pence for every 0.1 per cent increase in alcohol content, a system that industry leaders have declared “unworkable”, particularly for smaller importers.

The plans have sparked a furious backlash from the UK wine industry which supports more than 400,000 jobs and contributes £72bn in economic activity, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Source: FT

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