UK to announce ‘enhanced’ trade deal with Canada
The UK is set to announce an enhanced trade deal with Canada, the trade secretary has said, after the two nations ratified a post-Brexit agreement last week.
Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Australia event on Zoom this evening, Liz Truss said the UK was working “very closely” with “like-minded partners” to tackle issues such as China as part of ongoing trade discussions.
“On trade negotiations, we’re just about to announce that we’ve committed to an enhanced trade agreement with Canada,” she added.
“We’re currently also negotiating with New Zealand. I’ve just had a call today with the US trade representative about further discussions about the US trade deal, so we are working with all of those partners on enhanced trade deals,” said Truss.
It comes after London on Friday ratified a trade deal with Ottawa that is expected to be signed into action next month.
The agreement will “help both countries build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting high-quality jobs in industries such as automotive and food and drink”, the Department for International Trade said in a statement.
Trade between the UK and Canada is worth around £22.4bn each year, according to the latest official estimates.
The ratified trade deal is expected to save an estimated £42m tariff burden on UK exports to Canada including through eventual zero tariffs on cars, beef, fish, chocolate bars and soft drinks.
Meanwhile, British consumers will continue to benefit from zero tariffs on Canadian maple syrup, biscuits and salmon.
Britain has rolled over post-Brexit trade deals with 63 countries that it previously traded with under EU agreements,
The UK signed an independent deal with Japan on 22 October last year, marking its first trade agreement that diverted from an existing EU deal.
However, deals with four countries — Albania, Jordan, Canada and Mexico — have not yet fully come into force.
Speaking this evening, Truss added that the UK was also working to strike a “deep trading relationship” with Australia.
“There are loads of exiting products out there — the [Prime Minister] is very excited about Tim Tams, I’m very excited about Australian wine. There are lots of opportunities for Scotch whisky and cars into Australia,” she said.
Truss added that Britain is drawing up plans to create a “single trading area in digital and data, greater financial services [and] investment”.
“What we want to achieve between the UK and Australia fundamentally is that it should be as easy selling from Yorkshire to Lancashire as it is selling Yorkshire to Victoria, Australia.”