Feeds

Banana trade war threatens software sector

UK politician warns

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The banana trade war could spread to the UK software industry, a leading UK politician warns. John Redwood, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, said: "The last thing we want now is a trade war with America, which could spiral out of control, and damage more of our businesses." Speaking at the opening of new offices in Wokingham for high-tech networking company, DCA Ltd, Redwood said: "Pullovers are already at risk. Please don't threaten our software industry. I urge the Government to use whatever influence it has in both Brussels and Washington to get the threat lifted." A keeper of the Thatcherite flame, this Conservative politician is known as the Vulcan, on account of his remarkably pointy ears. Redwood can be characterised with a not terribly broad brush as anti-European (Union) and very pro-American. The man has never been noted for his compassion for the less fortunate sectors of society, but he is famously clever. However his fear for the future of the UK's puny software industry looks way off beam. There is no way this dispute is escalating into the hi-tech sector. Take a look at most places in Europe where computer companies cluster -- along the Thames Valley, in Scotland's Silicon Glen, Munich, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam/Rotterdam -- and you will see the tenants with the biggest HQs, warehouses and assembly plants are American-domiciled. The US is the dominant force in computer technology. Its industry giants are ardent proponents of globalisation and have become Europe's de facto computer industry giants. The World Trade Organisation, convenes for an emergency meeting tomorrow (March 8), to consider the latest spiral in the fruity battle between America and the European Union.(See also Hands off our bananas]. The EU, which requested the meeting, slammed the US for taking 'irresponsible unilateral action' in imposing punitive 100 per cent tariffs on a range of European goods. British exports will be worst affected, by the US action, which is designed to force Europe to remove minimum quotas on banana imports from the Caribbean. US banana companies say this freezes them out of the European market. If the EU escalates the banana trade war, it will seek to impose sanctions where only America jobs get hurt. Few American jobs depend on growing bananas. This is why, the AFL-CIO, America's union grouping, wants its own government to back down. When Redwood talks of pullovers he is referring to Scotland's cashmere-knit industry. Based in the Scottish Borders, a region that has done little harm to anyone since it gave up cattle raiding a few centuries back, the cashmere industry is bemused and scared by the US government's decision to include it on the banana retaliation lists. More than 2,000 jobs are at risk. The banana trade war is a tribute to the lobbying influence of the US banana barons. Never forget that Chiquita - formerly United Fruit - persuaded the CIA in the 1950s to overthrow a democratically elected government in Guatemala. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.