Trade Agreements:Written question - HL9899

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current public consultation process for Free Trade Agreements; what criteria they will use to assess the merits of any such consultations; whether the Department for International Trade have the necessary expertise to evaluate the results of any such consultation; and, if that expertise is not available, whether they intend to outsource that evaluation.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 07 August 2018

As set out in the HM Government’s White Paper of 12 July 2018, the UK is preparing for an independent trade policy, including the ability to pursue an ambitious bilateral trade agenda following EU Exit on the 29th March 2019. This includes the possibility to negotiate trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, and potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

On 20 July 2018, the Department for International Trade launched consultations related to these four potential future trade agreements.

The Department is committed to ensuring an inclusive and transparent trade policy and trade agreements that benefit the whole of the UK. It therefore continues to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, to draw on their knowledge and seek views to inform the Government’s approach to negotiations. The 14-week public consultation on these four potential future trade agreements is, as outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement “Launch of consultations on potential future free trade agreements” of 18 July 2018, an important element of that engagement.

The Department is putting in place the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that due consideration is given to responses, so that they effectively inform our overall approach to negotiations with partner countries. This includes securing appropriate analytical capability, as well as strengthening policy development capacity through recruitment, training and close cooperation with other Government Departments.

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