The Department for International Trade has announced the start of negotiations with Canada on an updated Free Trade Agreement.
Building on the benefits of the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement, the new Free Trade Agreement will go further in areas like innovation, digital, data, the environment and women’s economic empowerment.
The UK is Canada’s third largest trading partner and Canadian demand for imports is projected to grow by 45% by 2035. Canadian-owned businesses employ 108,000 people across the UK and additional investment resulting from a new deal could support jobs across the country and help level up the UK. The trade deal negotiations will cover subjects such as the adoption of digital trading systems. These can made trade cheaper, and could lead to more than 10,000 UK SMEs benefiting from lower barriers to trade through simplified paperwork. Reducing trade barriers can help businesses make the most of existing preferential tariffs.
The Government says that “a new agreement with Canada is also a vital part of our plan to build new trade routes for the UK’s services and digital economies and to refocus British trade on the faster-growing parts of the world”. This includes our accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a vast free trade area populated by half a billion people and with a joint GDP of £8.4 trillion in 2020.
“Our trading relationship with Canada was worth over £19 billion a year in 2020 and there is huge potential to strengthen and grow trade between our two countries”, said International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.