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Trade Agreements: Commonwealth

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 99772, tabled on 6 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made in agreeing trade deals with the UK's Commonwealth partners.

Answered on

14 October 2020

We are committed to working with our friends and allies in the Commonwealth to remove barriers and liberalise the global trading environment. The Commonwealth has a large and diverse membership, with countries at all stages of development, and this is reflected in the trade relationship we have with them.

Through the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act, the United Kingdom has provided for duty-free quota free access for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and put in place a trade preference scheme for other developing countries. In addition, we have agreed four Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique; Eastern and other Southern African (ESA) states; Pacific states; and CARIFORUM states.

My Hon. Friend will know that we are committed to negotiating and securing ambitious free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible too, harnessing the opportunity to negotiate a high-quality agreement with like-minded, liberal trading nations. Similarly, both the United Kingdom and Canada agree on the importance of protecting and strengthening our trading relationship and we are engaging constructively with HM Government of Canada on a seamless transition of our trading relationship beyond 1st January 2020.