Grant Shapps puts free trade at heart of Conservatives’ election pitch

 
Charlotte Henry
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Grant Schapps wants a reduction in red tape (Source: Getty)
Conservative chairman Grant Shapps made a robust defence of free trade yesterday, telling Tory activists: “The only times in human history when ordinary people have escaped a life of grinding poverty is when we’ve allowed enterprise to flourish.”

Speaking at the Institute of Directors, he called for the removal of tariffs that are “making it harder for British firms to sell to customers overseas”. Shapps highlighted the fact that a pint of British beer from “a smaller brewer incurs 157 per cent more federal tax in America than a pint from a US brewer of the same size.” Additionally, he wants a reduction in red tape: “If we are serious about boosting exports, we have to fix this”, Shapps said.

Shapps’ comments come amid negotiations on the TTIP trade deal between the US and EU. He said that the deal “could create up to two million new jobs, on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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