Minister in Scotland
Trade vital to spread of green tech says Truss
Liz Truss: promoting opportunities
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss used a visit to Scotland to argue that breaking down global barriers to trade will generate billions for British exporters and spread green technology.
Ms Truss, in Glasgow to host a meeting of the Board of Trade, said that trade is crucial to achieving the government’s green objectives by sharing the UK’s world leading skills in renewables.
“One of the things we have done is reduce tariffs on green goods to make it easier to exchange those ideas and innovations,” she said.
“We have seen the spread of green technology through trade; we are seeing the greening of trade mechanisms whether it is shipping, aerospace and transport in general, and by trading with each other we are learning better ways of tackling climate change.”
Ms Truss has met FinTech companies in Edinburgh, and visited the Clydeside Distillery and a Scottish export showcase.
She noted the benefits of the deal with the US on tariffs and said she is engaged with the seafood industry over ongoing trade concerns.
A report from the Board of Trade said free trade can expose so-called “green protectionism”, where environmental goals are used as a cover for protectionist policies.
On some estimates, the UK’s low carbon economy could grow by 11% per year to 2030, four times faster than the rest of the economy and delivering £60bn to £170bn of export sales in goods and services by the end of the decade.
Ms Truss said: “Free enterprise is key to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, to tackling climate change, and to securing a stronger and freer trading environment that directly supports jobs in regions and nations across the UK.”
On Brexit and current trade difficulties, she said: “People in the UK made the decision to leave the EU in 2016. My job is to secure the trade deals with the rest of the world that are going to improve opportunities here in Scotland.”
She side-stepped criticism of the Prime Minister by former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings by saying he was “focused on the Covid pandemic”.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added: “As we prepare to host COP26 in Glasgow later this year, today’s Green Trade Report sets out how free trade can go hand-in-hand with achieving our net zero ambitions.
“With a growing base of low carbon businesses, and home to almost a third of UK offshore wind jobs, Scotland has a lot to gain from green trade and the high-value jobs and prosperity it will create.”