NFU Scotland calls for Government to drop tariff proposals

NFU Scotland calls for Government to drop tariff proposals

National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) president, Andrew McCornick, has warned against lowering tariffs that would result in greater access to foreign food produced to questionable standards.

NFUS president, Andrew McCornick.

In its response to the Government’s consultation on the future of UK tariffs, NFU Scotland reinforced the message that any compromise on standards for products being imported would have serious consequences for Scottish agriculture.

In the consultation submission, NFU Scotland has stated that any tariff reduction or removal should only be done as part of trade negotiations and in return for ‘reciprocal concessions.’

Speaking on the back of the Union’s submission, NFU Scotland president, Andrew McCornick, said: “Applied tariffs are of fundamental importance to Scottish agriculture and it is absolutely crucial that we want to keep tariffs at the current level.

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters produce food which is world renowned for quality and we do not want to have these efforts undermined by applied tariffs with lower standards.”

“The high production standards to which we operate in Scotland do not come for free.  It is the current tariffs that provide a level of protection to offset low price, low standard imports.  They are the only tools allowed under World Trade Organisation rules to do that.

“That protection has been vital, helping protect farmers and crofters against the worst effects of global competition.

“Our industry is proud of the high standards it operates to, but these impose very significant additional costs. With WTO rules not allowing trade to be blocked to ensure a level playing field, it is only through the applied tariffs that any protection can be offered to our industry.”

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters produce food which is world renowned for quality and we do not want to have these efforts undermined by applied tariffs with lower standards.”

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