Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Update

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Friday 3rd February 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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A third round of negotiations for the UK’s accession to join the comprehensive and progressive trans-pacific partnership took place from the 5-9 December in London. Over 150 officials from five continents took part in a series of discussions on the UK’s accession. Talks were productive, with the UK making good progress and concluding substantive discussions on several areas. The UK is also now agreed to have demonstrated its compliance with CPTPP rules across almost all chapters of the agreement.

Intensive discussions will continue on the remaining items and the UK Government looks forward to continuing to work closely with the 11 members to ensure accession takes place on terms that work for the UK.

The UK will ensure that the final agreement on CPTPP membership upholds the Government’s manifesto commitment that the NHS, its services, and the price it pays for medicines are not on the table. The NHS is not, and never will be for sale to the private sector, whether overseas or domestic.

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Gender Recognition: Approved Overseas Countries and Territories

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 9th January 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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I would like to notify the House of the progress we are making in implementing our 2020 response to the Gender Recognition Act (2004) consultation. In particular, the House will wish to be aware that I will be updating the list of approved overseas countries and territories (provided for under section 1(1)(b) of the Gender Recognition Act) to make sure it does not compromise the integrity of the Gender Recognition Act. This follows previous periodic updates.

The list of approved overseas countries and territories was last updated in 2011. A commitment was made to keeping the list under review.

There are now some countries and territories on the list who have made changes to their systems since then and would not now be considered to have equivalently rigorous systems. It should not be possible for a person who would not satisfy the criteria to obtain legal gender recognition in the UK to use the overseas recognition route to obtain a UK gender recognition certificate. This would damage the integrity and credibility of the process of the Gender Recognition Act.

We are finalising details of overseas countries and territories to be removed from the list via an affirmative statutory instrument. These comprise countries and territories where there is a clear indication that the country now no longer has a system at least as rigorous as those in the Gender Recognition Act 2004. We are undertaking a thorough checking system to verify our understanding of each overseas system in question.

I will formally engage with other colleagues and Ministers from devolved Governments in advance of laying the statutory instrument. The Government are committed to ensuring that this outcome of the Gender Recognition Act consultation is followed through and upheld, and the overseas list will be updated via statutory instrument more regularly in future.

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India Trade Negotiations

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 9th January 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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The sixth round of UK-India free trade agreement negotiations began on 12 December and concluded on 16 December. As with previous rounds, this was conducted in a hybrid fashion—UK officials travelled to New Delhi for negotiations and others attended virtually.

Technical discussions were held across 11 policy areas over 28 separate sessions. They included detailed draft treaty text discussions in these chapters.

Coinciding with the start of the round, on 12 and 13 December I also visited New Delhi to meet my counterpart, Minister Piyush Goyal. We discussed the negotiations and the wider UK and India trade relationship. Discussions covered our respective ambitions for the deal, and we welcomed the progress made so far. I also made clear our red lines in the negotiation. I was also clear in this negotiation that, as with all our FTA negotiations, the NHS and the services it provides are not on the table.

I also met a number of UK and Indian businesses. I heard at first hand about the significant opportunities that an ambitious FTA could bring, as well as the challenges that some businesses currently face and how Governments can help break down barriers to trade and investment.

Both sides are working toward a balanced deal that will strengthen our economic links and bring real benefits to UK businesses, families and consumers.

The seventh round of official-level negotiations is due to take place in early 2023.

The Government will continue to keep Parliament updated as these negotiations progress.

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Canada and Gulf Cooperation Council

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Tuesday 20th December 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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The Department for International Trade has made progress on two key trade negotiations. This statement provides Parliament with an update on the United Kingdom’s trade negotiations with Canada and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

UK-Canada trade negotiations

The fourth round of the UK-Canada free trade agreement negotiations commenced on 28 November and concluded on 2 December. The negotiations were hosted in Ottawa and conducted in a hybrid format, with technical discussions held across 32 policy areas over 73 separate sessions.

This round saw the first full chapter agreed in principle, Transparency, and we provisionally identified candidates for closure in the next rounds. We continued to make steady progress and agree text where there was clear alignment, including in innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises, technical barriers to trade, anti-corruption and financial services.

Discussions were largely constructive, but key differences remain and there is more work to be done towards acceptable landing zones in important areas such as services, investment and procurement. Both negotiation teams took actions to consider each other’s priorities and identify opportunities to move closer together ahead of the next round.

As always, we closely monitored the interdependencies between the bilateral and comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership negotiations, particularly considering that CPTPP members were meeting in London the following week.

We expect to hold the fifth round of negotiations in London in March 2023.

UK-Gulf Cooperation Council trade negotiations

The second round of negotiations for an FTA between the UK and the GCC took place between 5 and 9 December.

The second round was hosted in London and held in a hybrid fashion. More than 100 GCC officials travelled to London for in-person discussions, with others attending virtually. Technical discussions were held across 29 policy areas over 36 sessions. In total, more than 100 UK negotiators from across Government took part in this round of negotiations.

During the round, the UK set out its policy positions having exchanged draft chapter text with the GCC across most policy areas before the round. A key objective at this stage was to continue to build a firm understanding of the GCC’s policy positions and priorities. Both negotiation teams took actions to further consider each other’s positions and identify opportunities to move closer together ahead of round 3.

Both sides remain committed to securing an ambitious, comprehensive and modern agreement fit for the 21st century.

An FTA will be a substantial economic opportunity, and a significant moment in the UK-GCC relationship. Government analysis shows that, in the long run, a deal with the GCC is expected to increase trade by at least 16%, add at least £1.6 billion a year to the UK economy and contribute an additional £600 million or more to UK workers’ annual wages.

We expect the third round of negotiations to take place in Riyadh next year.

His Majesty’s Government remain clear that any deal we sign will be in the best interests of the British people and the United Kingdom economy. We will not compromise on our high environmental, public health, animal welfare and food standards, and we will maintain our right to regulate in the public interest. We are also clear that during these negotiations the national health service and the services it provides are not on the table.

His Majesty’s Government will keep Parliament updated as these negotiations progress.

[HCWS473]

UK-South Korea Trade Agreement: Update

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Friday 9th December 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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Today the Department for International Trade has launched a public call for input on a future free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and South Korea. The call for input can be accessed via the following link— https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/trade-with-south-korea-call-for-input.

The UK is committed to building on our strong, existing trade and investment relationship with South Korea. South Korea is our 20th largest trade partner with bilateral trade worth £14.3 billion in 2021.

The UK’s current trade relationship with South Korea is based on the EU-South Korea trade agreement, which was negotiated by the European Commission in 2011 and, after a further negotiation, formed the basis of the UK-Korea trade agreement on 1 January 2021. We now have the opportunity to update the agreement, ensuring it is a modern and fit-for-purpose arrangement that meets the specific needs of the UK. This will include important areas such as digital trade, enhanced climate provisions and further support for small and medium-sized businesses.

South Korea was the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of GDP in 2021, with a population of almost 52 million people. An updated agreement could provide the UK with the opportunity to increase the value of UK exports to South Korea, which were worth £8.1 billion in 2021. With updated modern provisions the UK can seek to expand our key exports in digital, business and financial services, contributing to domestic growth at a time of global economic hardship.

Opening discussions towards a modern deal will assist both nations to take an ambitious, progressive, and sustainable step towards shared growth and job creation. As two countries with a strong record of co-operation, resting on shared democratic values, a bespoke trade agreement will provide a foundation for further growth in our trading relationship.

The Government have been clear that when we are negotiating trade deals, the NHS will not be on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. The services the NHS provides will not be on the table. We will not agree measures which undermine the Government’s ability to deliver on our manifesto commitments to the NHS.

As we committed to in our manifesto, in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

The call for input will run for eight weeks and invite businesses, public sector bodies, individuals, and other interested stakeholders to set out their priorities for a closer trading relationship with South Korea.

The information that the Government receive through this exercise will be crucial in shaping our approach to negotiations and our priorities and objectives, ensuring that our final approach is informed by stakeholder needs and the demands of the British economy.

Next steps

The UK and South Korean Governments share a desire to develop closer ties and we have jointly agreed to aim to launch negotiations as soon as possible next year, after we have fully reflected on the results of the call for input and developed a negotiating mandate. Prior to launching negotiations, the UK Government will publish their approach to negotiations. This will include a response to the call for input and our strategic objectives, as well as an economic scoping assessment. We will continue to keep Parliament, the devolved Administrations, UK citizens and businesses updated, as we make progress towards seizing the opportunities presented by a new, modern trade agreement with South Korea.

[HCWS431]

UK-Ukraine Digital Trade Agreement in Principle

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 30th November 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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Earlier this year, the Government launched negotiations on a digital trade agreement as part of our commitment to the people of Ukraine. I am pleased to report that we have now reached agreement in principle on a deal that supports Ukraine’s economy and the country’s reconstruction and further cements the UK’s position as a global leader in digital trade.



The UK is steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine in their brave struggle against Putin’s cruel and brutal war. We will continue to do everything in our power to support Ukraine’s fight and help ensure the long-term security and prosperity of Ukraine, as a free and sovereign nation. The UK-Ukraine digital trade agreement is one way we are achieving this.



Greater digitalisation of the economy is a key priority for our Ukrainian partners. They rightly recognise the UK as a global leader in digital trade, which is why they are striking their first ever digital trade agreement with us. This agreement will boost productivity, jobs, and growth and allow us to help Ukraine deliver on their digital ambitions.



The deal emulates the UK-led agreement on the G7 digital trade principles under our presidency last year, namely:



Ensure open digital markets, including through crucial commitments such as a ban on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.

Support cross-border data flows, including financial data, and prohibiting the unfair imposed localisation of data as well as committing to high standards of personal data protection.

Champion digital trading systems to cut red tape and make trade cheaper, faster, and more secure for businesses.

Uphold consumer benefits and business safeguards in digital trade. This includes important matters such as cyber-security, the protection of source code and online consumer protection.

Our digital trade agreement with Ukraine will expand on the current UK-Ukraine free trade agreement by modernising our bilateral trade in the digital era and deepening our economic ties with Ukraine. The UK’s services exports to Ukraine are increasingly digitised, with UK exports of digitally-delivered services and goods in trade amounting to £132 million in 2020—73% of all UK services exports to Ukraine. This deal will enable UK and Ukrainian businesses to trade in each other’s markets more easily, and help Ukrainian businesses recover from the impact of this cruel war.



Modern global trade is now digital. The UK is a forward-thinking trading partner in the modern global economy. This agreement sends a strong message to the people of Ukraine: we stand with you—now and throughout your economic reconstruction.



Following the agreement in principle, the legal text will now be finalised and prepared for signature. Signature of the agreement will take place at a future date, after which the agreement will also be presented to Parliament for scrutiny in the usual way.

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Trade Update: CPTPP and Mexico

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 28th November 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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The Department for International Trade (DIT) has made good progress on two key trade negotiations. This statement provides Parliament with an update on the UK’s trade negotiations with Mexico and negotiations towards accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP)

The UK has taken part in further discussions to negotiate accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The latest round of talks took place in Sydney from 10 to 13 October 2022. Negotiations covered market access on trade in goods, services and investment, financial services, Government procurement, temporary entry of businesspersons and legal and institutional issues. UK negotiators made good progress across the areas of discussion and talks are set to continue during the rest of the year.

Joining CPTPP will help UK businesses trade more easily across borders and will help keep critical supply chains open and predictable. Embracing closer trading links and breaking down barriers to trade with a diverse group of trading partners could support businesses in diversifying their supply chains promoting greater resilience.

Ahead of the UK’s Accession Working Group, the CPTPP Commission convened for its 6th annual meeting on 8 October 2022. In a concluding joint ministerial statement, the commission announced that it “look(s) forward to further progress on the accession process with the commitment of both the CPTPP membership and the United Kingdom.”

Separately, Malaysia has now announced its completion of the ratification process to enter CPTPP into force. The Ministry for Trade and Industry has announced that it deposited the instrument of ratification in early October. The agreement will enter into force for the country on 29 November 2022. This could provide the UK with significantly better access to the Malaysian market, which is home to over 32 million consumers. UK’s accession to CPTPP will support the UK and Malaysia’s shared ambitions to remove barriers to trade and create new opportunities for businesses and investors.

UK-Mexico Trade Negotiations

Round two of the UK-Mexico trade negotiations took place from 31 October to 11 November 2022 in a virtual format across 29 policy areas over 35 separate sessions.

During the round, the UK set out its policy positions having exchanged draft chapter text with Mexico across most policy areas before the round. A key objective at this early stage was to continue to build a firm understanding of Mexico’s trade policy positions and priorities. As expected at this stage, areas of convergence and divergence were identified. However, discussions remained positive. Both negotiation teams took actions to consider each other’s positions and identify opportunities to move closer together ahead of round three.

The negotiations continue to reflect a shared ambition to negotiate a comprehensive agreement which is better suited for the 21st century and one which strengthens our trading relationship, already worth over £4.2 billion in 2021. Both countries agree that this is an opportunity to add value and complement the UK’s accession to the CPTPP.

His Majesty’s Government remain clear that any deal we sign will be in the best interests of the British people and the United Kingdom economy. We will not compromise on our high environmental and labour protections, public health, animal welfare and food standards, and we will maintain our right to regulate in the public interest. We are also clear that during these negotiations, the NHS and the services it provides is not on the table.

His Majesty’s Government will continue to work closely with CPTPP parties and Mexico to ensure negotiations proceed at pace and take place on terms that are right for the UK.

[HCWS391]

Extension of the UK-Switzerland Services Mobility Agreement

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 21st November 2022

(1 year, 5 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Swiss Confederation share a deep and trusted trading relationship. We are two global leaders in services trade with deep links between our economies. As per the Office for National Statistics, in 2021, Switzerland was the United Kingdom’s sixth largest trade-in-services partner, with trade in services amounting to £18.4 billion and accounting for 48% of total UK-Swiss trade.

In December 2020, in recognition of this unique relationship, and to avoid disruption for service providers not covered by the mobility arrangements set out in the Citizens Rights Agreement, my Department, in co-ordination with the Home Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy negotiated the temporary agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on services mobility—the Services Mobility Agreement.

The Services Mobility Agreement allows UK professionals to travel freely to Switzerland and to work and deliver services visa-free for up to 90 days per year. The agreement also ensures UK professionals will not face economic interests tests or be required to secure work permits during these first 90 days of service supply.

The agreement also allows Swiss professionals to come to the UK and provide services under contract in a number of key skilled sectors through the UK’s service supplier visa for up to 12 months, supporting broader trade in vital industries of the UK economy, including finance, consultancy, legal services, the tech sector and the creative industries.

While the agreement was always intended to be temporary, the UK and Switzerland have agreed to extend the agreement for a further three years. This will ensure businesses and services providers here in the UK and those in Switzerland are provided with the clarity and certainty they need to continue to make use of this unique and important relationship.

The Services Mobility Agreement also established a working group between the UK and Switzerland on the recognition of professional qualifications. I am pleased to note the working group has had meaningful discussions. The UK’s aim is for an agreement that will provide clarity for suitably qualified professionals on the long-term arrangements to have their qualifications recognised in each party’s market, while protecting regulator autonomy. I will update the House with more information on this in due course.

This prolongation will extend the Services Mobility Agreement on its current terms and will enable us to look ahead to negotiations on an enhanced free trade agreement. We look forward to the opportunity that the negotiations present to pursue a comprehensive agreement that is reflective of the UK and Switzerland’s deep and historic trading and political relationship.

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International Trade Week

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 2nd November 2022

(1 year, 5 months ago)

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for International Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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On Monday, I launched International Trade Week 2022, which will run until Friday with events taking place across the United Kingdom. Now in its second year, International Trade Week is my Department’s largest showcase of trade, exporting and investment potential in the UK.



The week is designed to inspire businesses throughout the UK to pursue global opportunities, understand the UK’s investment potential and connect directly with trade industry experts. It will showcase key initiatives from my Department’s export strategy and provide an opportunity to hear from business about its work to support the UK’s race to £1 trillion worth of exports by the end of the decade. This Government continue to be committed to championing businesses to grow internationally and my Department will evidence this through our events throughout the week.



With more than 10,000 business registrations to over 120 events across the week, there is clear appetite among British businesses to take advantage of the growing demand for UK goods and services, particularly from some of the world’s fastest growing economies. UK exports were £728.1 billion in the 12 months to end of August 2022, up £116.0 billion (19.0%) compared to the previous 12 months.



Last year, the Department for International Trade also launched our export strategy and the “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” marketing campaign. One year on, we will celebrate successes to date and further promote our new products and services to business, as part our continued effort to deliver through the export strategy framework.



On Tuesday, as part of the week, I also hosted the green trade and investment expo (GTIE) in Gateshead. The expo will inspire and encourage more high-quality, sustainable investment into UK businesses creating jobs and generating growth to benefit people across the UK.



With increased investment in UK businesses, and by supercharging our exports, we will create jobs, increase energy security and resilience, boost productivity and build the expertise that will benefit the world. The expo will also demonstrate how the UK is bringing innovation and creativity to life, and how the ingenuity of British inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs is unlocking new growth, new jobs and new investment in clean and renewable technologies.

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