Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 19:28 GMT 20:28 UK

Business: The Economy

Scottish cashmere jobs saved

Cashmere has become a casualty of the banana war

The cashmere industry in the Scottish borders is celebrating a US decision to remove its products from a list of targeted goods in the so-called "bananas war".

The BBC's Jonty Bloom: An easing of the trade dispute
America was threatening to slap huge tariffs on cashmere which would have made it uncompetitive in the lucrative US market and put thousands of Scottish jobs in jeopardy as a result.

A range of other European products had also been singled out for the same treatment.

BBC Scotland's Peter Strachan: The US has agreed to strike cashmere from its blacklist
But at the 11th hour Scottish cashmere and Italian Pecorino cheese were spared from the list.

Managing Director of Scottish cashmere firm Clan Douglas, Columba Reid, said: "I am glad that everyone has finally come to their senses."

'Tremendous news

Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar welcomed the decision.

[ image: Thousands of people are employed by the industry]
Thousands of people are employed by the industry
He said: "This is tremendous news for Scotland in general and the cashmere producers in the borders in particular.

"It is a major boost - not just for the producers, but for retailers as well. In total 2.000 Scottish jobs depend on the industry.

"We worked long and hard for this result. I visited the States personally and held meetings with President Clinton and his most senior ministers."

[ image: The cashmere industry is vital for Scotland]
The cashmere industry is vital for Scotland
The move follows an announcement earlier this week by the EU that it would abide by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) decision that it should end higher tariffs on so-called "dollar bananas" from Latin America.

The US has issued a final target list designed to bring in tariffs of $191.4m on European imports ranging from French handbags to German coffee-makers.

The US has complained that the European Union (EU) is penalising Latin American banana producers by favouring Caribbean companies.

However, the EU still has the option of an appeal to the WTO.

Caribbean producers have warned that the WTO's decision could inflict lasting damage on their fragile economies.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Economy Contents

Relevant Stories

07 Apr 99 | The Economy
Europe will 'comply' with banana ruling

22 Mar 99 | The Economy
Banana war spreads to beef

23 Mar 99 | UK Politics
Cashmere aid detailed

11 Mar 99 | The Economy
Bending Blair's ear over bananas

Internet Links

World Trade Organisation

United States Trade Representative

European Union

Caribbean Bananas Exporters Association

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

Brown considers IMF job

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

No longer Liffe as we know it

The growing threat of internet fraud

House passes US budget

Online share dealing triples

Rate fears as sales soar

Brown's bulging war-chest

Oil reaches nine-year high

UK unemployment falls again

Trade talks deadlocked

US inflation still subdued

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Bank considered bigger rate rise

UK pay rising 'too fast'

Utilities face tough regulation

CBI's new chief named

US stocks hit highs after rate rise

US Fed raises rates

UK inflation creeps up

Row over the national shopping basket

Military airspace to be cut

TUC warns against following US

World growth accelerates

Union merger put in doubt

Japan's tentative economic recovery

EU fraud costs millions

CBI choice 'could wreck industrial relations'

WTO hails China deal

US business eyes Chinese market

Red tape task force

Websites and widgets

Guru predicts web surge

Malaysia's economy: The Sinatra Principle

Shell secures Iranian oil deal

Irish boom draws the Welsh

China deal to boost economy

US dream scenario continues

Japan's billion dollar spending spree