Scotland Office Minister John Lamont’s US trip promotes culture, investment and trade

The UK Government will be represented at New York’s Tartan Week, when Scotland Minister John Lamont attends the Tartan Day Parade this weekend on Saturday 15 April.

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, Tartan Week is an annual celebration of Scottish heritage in the Big Apple.  It celebrates the deep cultural ties between Scotland and the United States, and features a bagpipe parade through the streets of Manhattan.

Minister Lamont will be accompanied on the parade by performers from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The all-female troop is made up of two pipers, a fiddle player and four dancers. They will be representing the internationally-renowned Tattoo at Tartan Week for the first time.

In addition to the parade, Minister Lamont will take part in a number of other events, including:

  • Attending a recreation of the first Tartan Week parade 25 years ago, which went from the British Consulate to the UN Plaza. This will include performers from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

  • Hosting a reception with The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, showcasing the best in Scottish arts and culture.  Refreshments at the event will be provided courtesy of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky. 

  • Taking part in a panel discussion on renewable energy and the drive to Net Zero, hosted by the Scottish North American Business Council and involving representatives from both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Attending a roundtable event with members of the financial services industry hosted by EY and the UK Government’s Department for Business and Trade.

The Minister’s presence at Tartan Week highlights the importance of the relationship between Scotland and the United States, the significant contributions that Scottish-Americans have made to American society, as well as our many trade links. The USA is Scotland’s top exports market, with latest figures showing services exports worth £5 billion and goods exports worth £4 billion, and with beverages alone counting for more than £1 billion.

UK Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:

I am very pleased to be representing the UK Government at New York’s Tartan Week. It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Scotland and our world class exports – be they financial services, Scotch or ceilidh dancing. The ties between Scotland and the United States are strong and enduring, and events like this showcase the lasting and important friendship between our two countries.

Business and Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

Our trading relationship with the US is a hugely important one, with Scottish businesses exporting billions of pounds worth of high-quality goods and services each year.

Events such as Tartan Week help us to celebrate these links, but also to further strengthen ties with US buyers.

We’ve already made encouraging progress in removing trade barriers at state and federal level, and the UK Government will continue to do all it can to deliver for Scottish businesses and consumers.

Jason Barrett, Chief Operating Officer for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said:

We are delighted to be invited by the Scotland Office to New York’s 25th Tartan Week celebrations. The opportunity to share Scottish and military traditions as our Tattoo performers march alongside other extraordinary local and international Scottish organisations highlights our ambition to share our rich heritage with the world.

Allan Hogarth, Executive Director of the Scottish North American Business Council, said:

We are delighted to have assembled a panel of experts for the 25th Anniversary of Tartan Week. They will showcase Scotland’s strengths in the renewable energy sector and also explore the challenges on both sides of the Atlantic on key issues including climate mitigation and adaptation and city operations, sharing best practice in New York and Scotland.

The UK Government works tirelessly around the world to promote and protect the interests of Scotland.  Through our network of 282 missions in 180 countries and territories, British diplomats represent the interests of the whole United Kingdom, generating trade and investment and proudly promoting Scotland’s rich culture and heritage.

The UK Government has been seeking to remove trade barriers with the United States through a series of state-level MoUs, with more expected in the coming months. There have also been major trade breakthroughs at the federal level, including the removal of restrictions preventing high-quality Scottish beef from being sold in the US and resolving the Section 232 tariff dispute, resulting in the removal of 25 per cent tariffs on British steel.

The Tartan Parade, which takes place on Saturday 15 April is a highly anticipated event in New York City, drawing thousands of spectators each year. The parade features marching bands, traditional Scottish dancers and a procession of bagpipers. The event has become a beloved tradition in the Big Apple, and is a testament to the enduring cultural legacy of Scotland in the United States.

Published 13 April 2023