UK and Canada negotiate modernised trade deal

25 March 2022 | Muriel Cozier

‘…We want a new deal for the 21st century…’

The UK and Canada have launched trade talks which are aimed at strengthening a trading relationship said to be worth more than £19 billion during 2020. The new Free Trade Agreement, which will build on the benefits of the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement, will cover areas such as innovation, digital, data, the environment and women’s economic empowerment. The UK is Canada’s third largest trading partner and, it is estimated that Canadian demand for imports is set to grow by 45% by 2035.

The partners say, as an example, that the adoption of digital trading systems could make trade cheaper, faster and more secure for businesses. The Government says that this could see more than 10 000 UK SMEs benefiting from lower barriers to trade.

The UK Government says that benefits of a new UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement could include: A boost the UK’s service sector; stimulating more Canadian investment in the UK; helping women access the full benefits of trade, providing the potential to scale up businesses at the same rate as men; and enhancing cooperation on tackling climate change.

The UK Government’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan commented; ‘…We want a new deal for the 21st century – one that will boost our thriving services sector, promote higher standards of living and act as a beacon for others to follow in its world-leading climate change and women’s economic empowerment.’

The UK Government’s Department for International Trade has set out its negotiating objectives in a document: UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement: The UK’s Strategy Approach. It includes strategies on encouraging trade in cutting-edge technologies, and modernising the UK’s approach to emerging industries to foster conditions for innovation.

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