Brexit victory as experts pinpoint huge opportunities of new trade scheme

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The Government is expected to launch a new trade scheme that will give developing countries access to lower tariffs. The consultation is set to look at trading rules that will improve business both abroad and in the UK. The Government says the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is a “major opportunity” that will help grow free and fair trade with developing nations.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Trade fundamentally empowers people and has done more than any single policy in history to lift millions of people around the world out of poverty.

“Now the UK is an independent trading nation we have a huge opportunity to do things differently, taking a more liberal, pro-trade approach that leads to growth and opportunity.

“Countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam have proven it’s possible to trade your way to better living standards, and our new Developing Countries Trading Scheme will help others do the same.”

The proposed scheme would apply to 70 qualifying countries currently and include improvements such as lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for nations exporting to Britain.

The UK currently operates a similar scheme rolled over from the EU, but believes the change could see less tariffs on imports from low income and lower middle-income countries.

Former Australian trade negotiator Dmitry Grozoubinski unveiled all the opportunities this scheme could bring in a recent Twitter threat.

He wrote: “Many wealthier countries, including the EU and now the UK in its own right, allow a range of developing countries to sell them goods tariff free or tariff reduced, without a free trade agreement.

“The logic is simple. By providing developing countries an advantage in your market over (some) wealthier competitors, you give them the chance to build up export industries that create jobs and upskill their human capital.

“The UK has largely rolled over these programs, and through this consultation is going to look at ways to make them more accessible.”

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Mr Grozoubinski then asked: “But why might they be hard to access?”

According to him, as so often with trade, the answer lies in paperwork and requirements.

He added: “This review is going to look at where the system can be made more accessible while balancing: keycap digit one Accessibility for developing country exporters, keycap digit two Ensuring the schemes can’t be exploited by 3rd countries and keycap digit three Protecting the UK market from products that shouldn’t be there.

“Brexit angle?

“This is not a reform the UK could unilaterally launch while part of the European Union, and leading a process inside the EU to do this would be harder.

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“Of course the flipside is that the end result will improve access to 64m, not 450m consumers and bifurcated requirements.”

Trade expert Dr Anna Jerzewska echoed Mr Grozoubinski’s claims, writing on Twitter: “Anything that can help facilitate trade with developing and least-developed nations is great. “

However, she warned no red tape will be slashed and trade with these countries will not be less bureaucratic.

Listing what can change, she added: “Tariffs could be removed or lowered on products that still have them.

“Rules of origin could be simplified (always a plus).

“Simpler origin and certification provisions.

“Wider origin cumulation and improved and clearer rules on product and country graduation.”