Britain wants a formal free trade agreement with Canada within a year

Ottawa — The UK’s Minister of Trade says he hopes that his country will be able to conclude a formal free trade agreement with Canada within a year as negotiations are about to begin in earnest.

British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced the timeline in an interview with the Canadian press after arriving in Ottawa.

Trevelyan will announce the start of formal negotiations with Canada on Thursday, along with Canadian counterpart Mary Ng.

“Hopefully it will be realistic within a year,” Trevelian said at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Ottawa. We both want to get along (in discussion), but in terms of speed that’s my view. “

The UK and Canada have already negotiated a provisional trade agreement to replace the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that Canada has negotiated with the European Union (EU).

The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU has decided to withdraw from the EU after Brexit’s referendum led to withdrawal from CETA at the end of 2020.

In November 2020, the United Kingdom and Canada signed a tentative agreement to maintain key elements of CETA, including the elimination of tariffs on 98% of Canada’s exports to the United Kingdom.

It is imperative that the UK strike trade with Canada and join the Pacific Trade Agreement of 11 countries known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement (CPTPP), Trebelian said.

Canada is a founding member of the CPTPP and is an alliance that former US President Donald Trump suddenly withdrew from the country in 2017.

Ms. Trevelyan has just arrived from the United States, another important partner in the UK’s search for bilateral trade agreements. The UK was a member of the EU’s mission and needs to rebuild its international trade relations.

Withdrawal from the EU has forced Britain to rebuild its Commerce Department. Ms. Trevelyan enthusiastically noted that it has already helped secure two new deals with Australia and New Zealand in recent months.

Fill the “big gap”

She and Minister Ng are focusing on women’s empowerment. According to Trevelyan, they want to improve access to funding to support the development of small businesses.

She argued that this was especially important. Because pandemics have a disproportionate impact on women, new agreements can help address them.

“We not only want to make sure we can provide the tools they need, but we are also a game changer such as access to funds for women. There is a big gap in the UK,” the UK minister claims. Did.

“If we could rebalance women’s business to the same level of investment as men, we would add something like £ 250 billion to the economy. There is a big gap.”

Trevelian also said he wanted to increase Canada’s investment in the UK, but said he had no specific goals.

Sanctions against Russia

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Britain joined allies, including Canada, and imposed sanctions on the oligarchs, who were loyal to President Vladimir Putin. Many have invested in London.

According to Minister Trevelian, Britain was scheduled to revoke its MFN right, following Canada’s initiative this week. This will impose a 35% tariff on all Russian products, including “luxury goods,” by President Putin’s oligarchs. I like it very much.

She said Britain is currently sanctioning 381 oligarchs.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Mary Ng also attended a virtual meeting of the G7 Trade Ministers on Wednesday to discuss new measures against Russia.

“As global volatility increases and the geopolitical environment changes, Canada can strengthen its economic resilience by strengthening relationships with trusted partners and long-standing allies such as the United Kingdom. It’s essential, “said President Goldie of the Canadian Business Council. Haider.

According to him, the tentative agreement between Canada and the United Kingdom served its purpose, but the time has come for a “more comprehensive and tailor-made agreement with our third largest export market.”