UK has moved to ‘offensive’ trade position says Liz Truss
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A month after she took office from Liz Truss, Anne-Marie Trevelyan also pledged Brexit Britain was “seizing a world of opportunity” through taking back control of trade policy from Brussels. Ms Trevelyan, whose department oversaw the completion of a New Zealand trade deal on Wednesday, said: “I have relished the opportunity to lead our work driving us forward as a sovereign trading nation.
“As the world builds backs better from the pandemic, free and fair trade has a key role to play.”
The International Trade Secretary also made clear that each trade deal struck with a country was a “potential tool for businesses to use in order to grow and succeed by selling more in the global marketplace.”
She continued: “We are opening doors into the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for our exporters – and ensuring that our Free Trade Deals work for British business.”
Summarising the benefits of trade to the UK, the Berwick on Tweed MP said: “Put simply, trade – and the investment it brings – means jobs and growth.
“That is why we struck deals with 68 nations so far covering £744bn in trade as of last year, a record number of agreements no other nation has been able to surpass.”
Ms Trevelyan also spoke as she helped to secure a breakthrough that could liberalise hundreds of billions of pounds of international commerce.
Trade ministers from the G7 reached an agreement at a meeting in London on Friday on principles to govern cross-border data use and digital trade.
The deal sets out a middle ground between highly regulated data protection regimes used in European countries and the more open approach of the United States.
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A communique read: “We oppose digital protectionism and authoritarianism and today we have adopted the G7 Digital Trade Principles that will guide the G7’s approach to digital trade.”
Digital trade is broadly defined as trade in goods and services that is either enabled or delivered digitally, encompassing activities from the distribution of films and TV to professional services.
For the UK, remotely delivered trade was worth £326 billion in 2019, or a quarter of all its total trade, according to a government study of official data.
One Whitehall source with knowledge of the deal said: “This agreement is a genuine breakthrough that is the result of hard diplomatic graft.
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“All of us rely on digital trade every day, but for years the global rules of the game have been a wild west that have made it difficult for businesses to seize the immense opportunities on offer.”
During the summit, the cabinet minister also held talks with US trade representative Katherine Tai, although British sources have played down expectations of a transatlantic trade deal since Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House.
She also held meetings with European Commission trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis and Germany’s economic affairs minister Peter Altmaier.
The International Trade Secretary concluded: “We will succeed as a sovereign trading nation by opening ourselves up to opportunity more than ever.
“We have seen waves of investment bring more jobs to our key industries, from life sciences and financial services to food and drink as well as advanced manufacturing.
“This is Global Britain in action.”
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