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UK will back WTO reform after Brexit – trade minister

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  Britain will support U S President Donald Trump s calls to reform the World Trade Organisation WTO when it gets an individual seat at the trade forum after Brexit but will fight protectionism an official said on Wednesday The Trade Minister Liz Truss stated this in a speech to the International Chamber of Commerce in Geneva where she met with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo during which they discussed preparations for Brexit within the WTO Liz Truss s comments came on a visit to the WTO s Geneva headquarters where she was seeking to ease fears of trade disruptions before a potential no deal Brexit in which Britain would leave the EU without an agreed withdrawal process Within the organisation Britain has been represented by the EU until now It will get its own seat if it quits the EU as planned in what Truss called a golden opportunity to determine our own trade policy I can assure you we will be unapologetic in fighting the forces of protectionism in favour of genuinely free trade Truss said Britain revised a tariff regime on Tuesday in the event of a no deal Brexit to make 88 per cent of imports eligible for tariff free access Much uncertainty remains about the impact of Brexit on trade however Large agricultural players have objected to the way in which the UK and the EU have divided up existing quotas such as for a lamb Trade can continue but without any legal framework Lots of people I know who are trade lawyers have been contacted by the British government in the past few weeks and headhunted to assist with negotiations said a trade lawyer in Geneva who asked not to be named They are scrambling Britain s expanded role in the WTO comes amid criticism from Washington which has brought its seven member Appellate Body effectively the supreme court of trade to the brink of collapse by blocking the appointment of new judges After December the court will have only one judge President Trump has said he wants the WTO to modernise and I agree Truss said in the speech However she pledged support for a diplomatic process meant to resolve the crisis at the court We must work together to resolve the Appellate Body impasse she said She also urged action on liberalising digital trade and on fish subsidies negotiations Reuters NAN FAT AIB Edited by Fatima Sule Abdulfatah Babatunde
UK will back WTO reform after Brexit – trade minister

President Donald Trump

Britain will support U.S. President Donald Trump’s calls to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when it gets an individual seat at the trade forum after Brexit, but will fight protectionism, an official said on Wednesday.

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Trade Minister

The Trade Minister, Liz Truss, stated this in a speech to the International Chamber of Commerce in Geneva, where she met with WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevedo, during which they discussed preparations for Brexit within the WTO.

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Liz Truss

Liz Truss’s comments came on a visit to the WTO’s Geneva headquarters, where she was seeking to ease fears of trade disruptions before a potential “no-deal” Brexit, in which Britain would leave the EU without an agreed withdrawal process.

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Within the organisation, Britain has been represented by the EU until now.

It will get its own seat if it quits the EU as planned in what Truss called a “golden opportunity to determine our own trade policy’’.

“I can assure you we will be unapologetic in fighting the forces of protectionism, in favour of genuinely free trade,’’ Truss said.

Britain revised a tariff regime on Tuesday in the event of a no-deal Brexit to make 88 per cent of imports eligible for tariff-free access.

Much uncertainty remains about the impact of Brexit on trade, however.

Large agricultural players have objected to the way in which the UK and the EU have divided up existing quotas, such as for a lamb.

Trade can continue but without any legal framework.

“Lots of people I know, who are trade lawyers have been contacted by the British government in the past few weeks and headhunted to assist with negotiations,’’ said a trade lawyer in Geneva, who asked not to be named.

“They are scrambling.’’

Appellate Body

Britain’s expanded role in the WTO comes amid criticism from Washington, which has brought its seven-member Appellate Body – effectively the supreme court of trade – to the brink of collapse by blocking the appointment of new judges.

After December

After December, the court will have only one judge.

President Trump

“President Trump has said he wants the WTO to modernise, and I agree,’’ Truss said in the speech.

However, she pledged support for a diplomatic process meant to resolve the crisis at the court.

Appellate Body

“We must work together to resolve the Appellate Body impasse,’’ she said.

She also urged action on liberalising digital trade and on fish subsidies negotiations. (Reuters/NAN)


FAT/AIB

Edited by Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Fatima Sule

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