EU has made trade deal with Australia ‘difficult’ says economist
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Britain is free from being tied to the European Union (EU), meaning it can negotiate free trade agreements which suits the nation and its demands better. A deal with Australia has already been struck and the UK is well on its way to securing other landmark deals. Express.co.uk speaks to an economic expert about the 10 countries Britain is likely to strike deals with next and why they are important priorities for the country.
The Australia deal negotiated between Britain and Australia was the first trade agreement to be negotiated since the UK left the EU.
The deal was announced on June 15 and under the deal, Australia will be able to send a certain amount of agricultural goods per year to the UK without any payment of tariffs (taxes on imports).
Over time, these limits (or quotas) will increase.
After 15 years, there will be no quotas or tariffs on agricultural produce, apart from long-grain rice.
Tariff-free quotas on sugar and dairy products will be eliminated sooner – just eight years for sugar and five for dairy.
The UK Government said the deal means “iconic British products like cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia”.
British companies will be given zero-tariff access to Australia’s railways under the terms of a trade deal agreed with Canberra.
The existing five percent tariff on rail products will be scrapped enabling UK companies to bid for Australian Government contracts covering the supply of trains, track infrastructure and consultancy worth billions of pounds.
The UK is now on the brink of signing a trade deal with New Zealand.
The deal is expected to mirror Britain’s controversial deal with Australia over agricultural imports.
The full details have yet to be released and will aim to encourage trade between nations by making it cheaper to both import and export goods.
Diary invitations were sent to key business and advisory groups for briefing, according to The Independent.
One source claimed talks were optimistic and some final kinks were expected to be smoothed out “within the next few days”.
A trade department spokesperson said talks were ongoing, but “we will not sacrifice quality for speed”.
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UK analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit Matthew Oxenford said the UK has advanced in many of its negotiations – especially with countries in South Asia and Oceania.
But before any of these deals, the analyst said the deal with New Zealand is the next most important step for British trade negotiators.
Mr Oxenford told Express.co.uk: “The next agreement that is likely to be announced is New Zealand.
“However, the agreement in principle announced with Australia still requires finalising many of the technical aspects, and any announcement reached within a year with New Zealand or any other country is similarly likely to be a statement of intent rather than an agreement ready to be immediately implemented.”
Following the New Zealand deal Mr Oxenford said the UK’s potential ascension to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific (CPTPP) trade agreement is likely to be the impactful for the UK.
He told Express.co.uk: “This is for many reasons – the CPTPP is likely the largest trade bloc the UK has a reasonable chance of reaching an agreement with (Among large markets – a US-UK trade agreement was unlikely even before the Biden administration, and looks to be a non-starter now, tensions with China preclude any major trade agreement there, and the Government is unlikely to pursue any significant re-liberalisation of trade with the EU).
“The CPTPP encompasses Canada, Japan, Australia, and several Southeast Asian and Latin American nations, giving it more global significance than any bilateral agreement.
“It’s also notable in that it includes relatively deep and modern chapters on services and digital trade, areas of strength for the UK, and areas of potential growth in trade in the future.
“Subscribing to internationally recognised rules around these chapters would also increase the UK’s trade competitiveness globally.”
The 11 CPTPP countries Britain is due to agree trade deals with next include:
- Australia (already has its own deal)
- Brunei Darussalam
- New Zealand (is separating negotiating its own deal as well)
Britain is also due to negotiate an external free trade agreement with New Zealand – more details related to this deal are expected in the next week.
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