UK Doing Deals round the world
Letter to Secretaries of State (Oct 1 '19) by RSA and other key characters says: "A pre-requisite for this progressive agenda, and all the benefits it will bring, is a level playing field in whatever trading environment follows. The risks to citizens, rural communities, food and farming businesses are immense if we rush into the wrong trade deals after Brexit...The UK must not use future trade deals to offshore its climate and nature commitments to countries with fewer resources and weaker environmental standards. "
Sept '19 UK agree 'trade continuity' deal with 6 S.African countries . Major imports to the UK from these countries include edible fruit and nuts and is worth £10b, bringing total of 'continuity deals' to £99b. PS Trade deal with EU is worth £289B - and does 'continuity' mean the deals were there before?
Liam Fox hired expensive 'Trade Commissioners' - rather than using existing Ambassadors.He promised dozens of deals within 18 months. But the threat of global trade wars has calmed him down Fox underestimated the difficulties of getting British farmers good trade deals "Fox previously said a Brexit trade deal would be “the easiest in human history”, but the MEPs warn that it is now becoming clear that securing a good deal not just for access to EU markets but around the world would be “complex and time-consuming matter”. So free trade deals are less about exporting UK food produce and more about importing a lot more cheap food.
It is unclear yet as to the basis of the UK future trade deals with the rest of the world. We have to extricate ourselves from the EU first, and then find out what the terms of our membership with the WTO are before making any deal. Once out of the EU will have to apply for WTO membership...
UK Parliament Inquiry: Brexit: Trade In Food Gove & Eustice session (Impact assessments 10.30-35, CAP 10.35-40, Standards 10.40-50, Information 10.50, Standards 11.00 Irish Border 11.05 - Wales, Full Alignment 11.20, Canada +++ 11.25, all sectors treated same? 11.30, Tariffs? 11.35-11.44, Fish transition 11.45-11.59 inc. no trade barriers during transition 11.56, Labeling 11.59-01. Standards & Residues 12.00-04
CBI says that UK will not be able to ‘roll-over’ Britain’s forty existing free trade deals with non-EU countries in time for Brexit day – and argue a failure to secure the deals could “wipe out” entire sectors of the UK economy.
Agri-Food & Bioscience institute year long report: Post Brexit possible agricultural Trade Deals
Liam FoxMinister for Investment @ Dept of International Trade says Brexit will allow more deals, but doesn't really spell any out. "I was recently in Taiwan. I met the president there and specifically raised pork. We opened up the Chinese market a few years ago, we would like to do the same with Taiwan". Will somebody tell him we can trade pork with these countries anyway. It is just we have to pay existing tariffs - and they wont go away easily. He welcomed Budweiser using more UK barley.
UK forcing poor nations to sign up to risky deals " Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, is accused of piling pressure on developing nations to “sign up blind” – without knowing the value of the deals – with a warning they will otherwise be lost. Just three of the 40 agreements the UK enjoys through EU membership, covering 71 countries, have been successfully “rolled over” – as the government promised – with Brexit day just seven weeks away." Countries being told they risk punishing tariffs on crucial exports to the UK, unless they re-sign the deals in time include Ghana, which relies on banana sales, Mauritius (tuna), Kenya (flowers), Cote d’Ivoire (cocoa), Namibia (grapes and beef), Swaziland (sugar), and scores of other developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America.
Fox concessions fall short of giving MPs 'meaningful say' in trade deals. MPs wont get vote, devolved administrations shut out, and only limited tarnsaprency
"It gives MPs 21 days to object to a deal, but neglects to give them a way of objecting. By contrast MEPs in Europe and the US Congress get an automatic vote.
JapanMay wants to have her sake and drink it.
Japan talks turn sour (Feb 19)
Opinion on UK-US trade relations inquiry. See Trump & Trade for details Liam Fox's Department of International Trade agreed to talks being kept secret and "signed agreements with the US which will make it much more difficult to find out what is being discussed in early-stage US-UK trade talks. There is a joint working group mapping out the groundwork. Fox’s department formally agreed to tighten the rules on information handling two days after the trade secretary made a public pledge to boost transparency during the talks."
CanadaCanada refuses to 'roll over' their deal with EU "Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, promised in 2017 that up to 40 EU trade deals would be replicated by the time Britain left the union. CETA is one of the biggest it had hoped to have in place..Post-Brexit, any future trade arrangement between Canada and the UK would be influenced by the terms of the withdrawal agreed between the UK and the EU, as well as any unilateral UK approaches...British trade officials are "furious" at the rebuff.”
AustraliaAustralia insists on exporting hormone-treated beef as part of any deal They will also ask the UK to remove its tariffs on cane sugar and red meat. Lofty free trade deals like this should run in to opposition from UK farmers. We will then sound more 'European'.
Tory donor Michael Hintze, who has given £4m over 15 years, and backed Leave to the tune of £100k and long-time supported of Liam Fox is one of Australia's largest landowners. He has bought leading beef cattle operation Deltoit Station and will benefit enormously should hormone-treated beef be allowed into Britain - at present banned by EU, post Brexit. Private Eye No 1477 Tim Tams Boris Johnson joked that a trade deal between the UK and Australia would bring "wonderful" Tim Tam's biscuits to the British people at a "reasonable price".
The Scotch whisky sector want to increase sales to India, from around £100m but face a tariff of around 150%. The EU is their largest market at £1.2b. Remember hard liquor is one of our biggest exports - making up around 40% of our food/drink exports. If we try to get rid of their tariff, what would India want? India says that any trade deal would have to involve 'increased free movement' of Indian people to the UK. This is their main concern and is the main issue which could be more attractive to India than a deal with the EU. Also, "The UK should be prepared to relax EU rules on food standards and chemical safety as part of a new trading relationship with India, according to an unreleased report by the British and Indian governments...which identified "a range of non-tariff barriers to trade, including limits on fungicides in basmati rice, the enforcement of food hygiene standards for milk and dairy products such as paneer" More from Unearthed
There is a new deal with India - UK sheep deal worth 6m. There no need fof an FTA.
Following EU deal with S America (Mercasur), a UK 'roll over' deal with S America will be harder.according to head of International Meat organisation. See EU Deals for more
New ZealandPressure on UK for NZ deal (June 20) "Former trade negotiator Charles Finny said NZ was in a much stronger negotiating position with the UK than with the EU, which was offering zero improvement after two years of talks."
25% of our imports from New Zealand are prepared foodstuffs like beverages and spirits and 40% live animals and products. Are main exports are transport (mainly from W Midlands. The pdf shows who will benefit in UK, but not who may be killed off). NZ will be targetting to reduce those 'old' EU tariffs on live animals and foodstuffs.
Liz Truss (International Trade Secretary) to meet with NZ counterpart - Sept '19, to discuss 'Free Trade Deal'. National Sheep Association warned that if "government actions undermine our industry it would be an unforgivable indication of their attitude to sustainable food and farming here in the UK"
"Under the terms of any trade deals we expect our food, farming and fishing standards to guarantee provision of a reliable and affordable supply of food that is:"Under democratic control - must deliver on national priorities for food and be open to public debate Safe - British public expects their food to be safe Healthy - to prioritise healthy food, rather than sugary, calorie-laden food and soft drink Respectful of UK consumer and health priorities - Under EU rules, UK consumers are currently protected from questionable food production methods Good for people - comes from farmers and food workers who have been paid and treated fairly Good for the planet - our food is produced in a way that is environmentally friendly and meets national priorities for conservation and enhancement of nature Good for animals - that have been treated well and transported and killed as humanely as possible. Fair - people to enjoy their own food security and for trade with the UK to help them earn enough money to build better lives High quality - Everyone needs to know what they’re eating and where it comes from, so country of origin labelling needs to be protected Specified in public sector contracts - must not in any way undermine the ability of our public institutions – such as schools, hospitals and the armed forces – to buy well produced, healthy and sustainable food
My MP - Nigel Evans
(member International Development Committee)
I bumped into Nigel in my local Booth's supermarket - Rumble in the Ribble and asked about possible trade deals.
Following Trump's statement that the Chequers plan would rule out a US-UK deal, Nigel Evans said we should listen to his warning and ditch the Chequers plan - a few days after he had said he was content with it. Previously, when I asked him about the US-UK deal, he promised he would 'scrutinize' (NB American spelling) any US deal carefully.
I suggested India, China, Australia and others, saying it is important that if we are going to all the trouble of leaving the Customs Union, we should know what we are going for in terms of the best possible deals.
He replied saying: "The top for me would of course be the USA. ..I am also very keen for us to do trade deals with several South American countries, including Uruguay and Argentina. I recently hosted a roundtable discussion with the Vice-president of Argentina...Australian and New Zealand would also be high up on my list of preferred deals."
Top of the list for all of these countries in making a deal with UK, would be for us to reduce tariffs on foods for them to import more cheaply. This would have disastrous impact on our food and farming - more rural poverty and worse food.
The EU has now completed a deal with S America (see above) which will make it harder to do a deal. Their deal is a'big backroom deal' for carmakers but a bad deal for farmers - according to Irsih Farmer bodies. Shame we wont benefit much from that as we wont have much of a car industry left.