Liz Truss says UK will be 'adding' to trade deals in 2021
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Details of deals struck by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss continue to be a mystery, according to the findings. A poll for the consumer choice group Which? found 67 percent felt the public receives too little information from ministers about trade deals.
Ms Truss has signed deals covering 67 countries in the past two years.
Most of the pacts are roll over deals mirroring the terms of agreements in place from when the UK was a member of the EU.
But fresh agreements with Japan and Australia have been signed since Britain quit the bloc.
On top of the agreements coordinated by the Department for International Trade (DIT), there is the deal brokered with Brussels by Lord Frost covering the 27 EU member states.
However, few are aware of the deals and the benefits they bring.
Just seven percent said they were aware the UK even had a deal in place with Japan.
The deal signed by London and Tokyo slashes tariffs on British goods such as clothing, biscuits and meat making it easier and cheaper to export.
It has also made it easier for UK financial services to do business in Japan.
Meanwhile, the Australia deal makes it easier for Britons to travel and work in Australia, slashes red tape for entrepreneurs and small business, and cuts tariffs on imports.
A quarter of consumers who took part in the poll said they felt the Government was “not at all open” about the impact new trade deals will have.
A total of 3,263 UK adults were surveyed online between June 23-24.
Sue Davies, head of consumer rights and food policy at Which?, said there should be a “consumer chapter” included in each future individual deal to inform people about the benefits and changes negotiated.
“The success of future agreements will be judged on what they deliver for ordinary people in their everyday lives, not just the export opportunities they provide,” she said.
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“Our research shows that consumers feel they have been left in the dark about what trade deals will mean for them.
“The Government must take this opportunity to communicate transparently and openly with the public about trade negotiations and push for a consumer chapter to be included in future deals which reflects the issues that are most important to consumers.”
The findings will be a stark reminder to Boris Johnson of the need to promote his trade deals across the country.
The Prime Minister has regularly boasted of the opportunities offered by Brexit.
He has repeatedly spoken of new markets for businesses to export to and the chance for cheaper imports from abroad for consumers.
A DIT spokesperson said: “Free trade will grow our economy in every part of the UK and deliver jobs, better living standards and higher wages.
“As an independent trading nation, we are striking ambitious deals that will not only support our key industries, but also benefit consumers who will be able to enjoy more choice and better value thanks to the tariffs we are cutting.
“Our climate change and environment policies are some of the most ambitious in the world, and we will not sign trade deals that compromise our high environmental protections, animal welfare and food safety standards.”
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