Liz Truss moves to slash tariffs on US goods post-Brexit and protect UK industries
Liz Truss has set out plans to slash tariffs on US goods post-Brexit as well as protecting UK industries from cheap imports from other countries.
The International Trade Secretary has launched a public consultation on developing a new “Most Favoured Nation” system to develop new trading relationships with countries outside the EU.
She said striking free trade agreements creates “the opportunity to increase prosperity in all parts of our country” by removing duties and cutting red tape, supporting businesses and slashing prices for consumers.
From the start of 2021, goods coming into the UK will no longer be subject to the EU’s Common External Tariff, meaning prices will come down.
However, ministers want to protect British producers by imposing tariffs to stop cheap foreign imports flooding the market - a practice known as "dumping" - and putting homegrown businesses at risk.
Ms Truss said: “The UK has left the EU and it is time for us to look forward to our future as an independent, global champion of free trade.
“It is vitally important that we now move away from complex tariff schedule imposed on us by the European Union.
“High tariffs impinge on businesses and raise costs for consumers. This is our opportunity to set our own tariff strategy that is right for UK consumers and businesses across our country.”
Her department is also starting a review of 43 “EU trade remedy measures” created to protect UK businesses from unfair trading practices, and see which will still be needed post-Brexit.
They include things like anti-dumping tariffs of up to 36.1% on imports of ceramic kitchen and tableware from China, and duties of €62 per bus and lorry tyres bought from the same country.
In a statement to Parliament Ms Truss said: “We aim to secure free trade agreements with countries covering 80% of UK trade within the next three years.
“We will drive a hard bargain and, as with all negotiations, we will be prepared to walk away if that is in the national interest.
“A key priority is to deepen trade and investment relationships with like-minded partners, starting with the USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.”
She added that a deal with America would “lower prices and increase choice for UK consumers”, as well as allow the UK to “protect its interests when threatened by unexpected surges in imports of goods or unfair trading practices”.