Brexit Britain finally stands up to EU: UK ready to place trade tariffs on Brussels

5 mins read


While in the European Union the UK was bound by the bloc’s own trade remedies regime. It meant businesses across the bloc were treated as being from one economic area with Britain unable to unilaterally take action against member states looking to undercut British manufacturers.

The newly formed Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) now has the power to recommend the introduction of tariffs and other such measures if the EU is found to have participated in unfair trading practices.

Attempts by countries in Europe and around the world to use state intervention to subsidise manufacturing to boost exports can be combatted.

International Trade Minister, Ranil Jayawardena said: “Britain’s newly independent trade remedies system will help protect important British industries such as steel manufacturers and ceramics producers from harmful global trading practices.

“The TRA will help create a level playing field for British businesses so they can compete with overseas producers, protecting them from unfair trading practices and unforeseen surges in imports.”

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It is the first time in over 45 years the UK has been free to make its own decisions to protect British businesses from unfair trading practices abroad.

Oliver Griffiths, the newly appointed Chief Executive of the TRA, hailed the creation of the arms length body as a significant moment for Brexit Britain.

He said: “The launch of the TRA today is an important moment for UK trade policy.

“The TRA will be dedicated to defending British economic interests against unfair international trade practices, providing independent, data-driven recommendations to the Government.”

International remedies in place on 43 areas as a result of the UK rolling over retaliatory measures implemented by the EU when Britain was a member state are currently being reviewed.

It will make recommendations on whether the measures forced upon the UK when an EU member state remain in the best interests of the country.

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In December 2020 the UK announced it was planning to unilaterally drop tariffs on US goods implemented by the EU following a dispute over aerospace subsidies.

As a result, the US has reciprocated, easing tensions between the two sides while trade remedies remain in place between Brussels and Washington.

The fallout emerged after both the US and the EU accused each other of providing unfair subsidies to the Boeing and Airbus aviation manufacturers.

Meanwhile, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has launched a consultation on the removal of tariffs on whiskey, motorcycles and tobacco imports from America.

The measures were introduced by the EU in response to US sanctions on aluminium and steel imports.

Ms Truss said last week: “We now have the power to shape these tariffs so they reflect UK interests, and are tailored to our economy.

“The UK will do whatever is necessary to protect our steel industry against illegal tariffs that could undermine British industry and damage our businesses.

“Ultimately, however, we want to deescalate these disputes so we can move forward and work closely with the US on issues like WTO reform and tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.”



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