The Department for International Trade (DIT) is responsible for promoting British trade and investment across the world. One of its main objectives is to negotiate free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries and trading blocs to remove barriers to trade and increase opportunities for British businesses.
Free trade agreements are a vital tool for any country engaged in international trade. They provide a framework for reducing or eliminating tariffs on goods and services, opening up markets for businesses, and reducing non-tariff barriers such as quotas and regulatory restrictions.
The Department for International Trade has been actively negotiating FTAs with countries around the world. In 2019, the DIT signed a continuity agreement with Switzerland, which essentially replicated the existing trade arrangements between the UK and Switzerland after Brexit.
Another significant agreement is the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was agreed in principle in September 2020. This agreement seeks to increase trade between the UK and Japan by reducing tariffs on goods, improving market access for service providers, and addressing non-tariff barriers such as regulatory issues.
The DIT is also negotiating FTAs with other countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. These agreements will be crucial for British businesses as they seek to establish new trade links with countries outside the European Union.
The DIT has also set up a Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) to help British businesses deal with unfair trading practices such as dumping and subsidies. The TRA will investigate claims made by British businesses and take appropriate action to protect their interests.
In conclusion, free trade agreements are an essential tool for promoting international trade and increasing opportunities for businesses. The Department for International Trade is playing a vital role in negotiating these agreements, which will help British businesses establish new trade links and expand their operations around the world. The signing of these agreements will be an important step forward for the UK as it seeks to establish itself as a leading player in the global economy.