Call for action made in face of tariffs which threaten wool exports to US
Shetland Wool Week may have been a roaring success, but US tariffs on wool – set for introduction this month – are threatening to cause a headache for the knitwear sector.
A demand has been made for the UK government to act following reports the US is set to introduce a range of tariffs on EU goods from 18th October.
The 25 per cent tariffs will cover wool products from the UK, including clothing.
The warning from the Orkney and Shetland MP has come after it emerged the 10th Shetland Wool Week had attracted around 1,000 visitors to the isles.
Alistair Carmichael said: “It is ironic that the news of tariffs being imposed on wool products comes during Shetland Wool Week.
“Wool and knitwear are a big part of what defines traditional and craft industries in the Northern Isles.
“Fair Isle knitwear is known worldwide, and we should do everything to build on that interest.
“This is a sector which attracts tourism and international buyers.
“Just this week, the number of US visitors to the Shetland Wool Week has shown again how popular our products are to Americans, making these tariffs another blow.
“For those who deny that tariffs make a difference to our ability to export, the truth will soon be apparent.”
Mr Carmichael insisted “action is needed” to cut the risk to the economy from trade barriers.
“I am calling on the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, to get on the case immediately to fix this issue and support our wool industry.”