Welcome to the UK Trade Policy Observatory

Latest Briefing Papers

Our Briefing Papers provide a unique analysis of various elements of trade policy in the post-Brexit era.

Briefing Paper 83 - How Much Free Trade in UK Free Trade Agreements?

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Trade policy animated videos

Our animated videos help to explain the effects of trade policy. This video explains direct and indirect ways of trading services internationally, and looks at the implications for trade policy, particularly trade agreements.

For more trade explainers, visit our animations page.

November 25th, 2016

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Share this article: 3 July 2024 Tom Arnold is a Researcher at the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place at the University of Liverpool; Patrick Holden is a Reader in International Relations at the University of Plymouth; Peter Holmes is a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Emeritus Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School; and Ioannis Papadakis is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Inclusive Trade based at the University of Sussex. Introduction Freeports have been a central part of the UK Government’s regional development policy over the last five years. The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto pledged to create “up to ten Freeports around the UK”,[1] emphasising their potential to create new jobs and additional income streams for local government. They were also promoted as key to improving the UK’s international trade prospects following its exit from the European Union. UK… Read More

July 3rd, 2024

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Share this article: June 28, 2024Anupama Sen is a Research Assistant in International Trade (Economics) at the UKTPO.   For nearly a decade, China has been the linchpin of global supply chains, thanks to its competitive labour costs and vast manufacturing prowess, earning it a moniker as the ‘factory of the world’. China’s strong manufacturing position extends to the automotive industry. Against that backdrop, starting on 4 July 2024, the EU will implement tariffs, in the form of countervailing duties (CVDs) ranging from 17% to 38%, on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). These duties on Chinese EV imports will be on top of an existing 10% duty, thereby reaching a peak of 48%. The decision to levy further duties follows an investigation by the European Commission launched in October to investigate Chinese subsidies distorting EV prices and posing unfair competition risks to European carmakers. Thus, the tariffs are applied on a… Read More

June 28th, 2024

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Share this article: June 25 2024 Sahana Suraj is a UKTPO Research Fellow in International Trade. With less than two weeks until the United Kingdom elects its 59th parliament, campaigning efforts by contesting political parties intensified with the recent publication of party manifestos.[1] The UK is the fourth largest exporter of goods and services, so it is particularly important to shine light on the next government’s stance for developing a robust trade policy that maximises the benefits of trade consistent with domestic policy objectives. Parties’ general stance on trade While clearly there is a degree of overlap, the approaches to trade (policy) by the main parties—Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Reform UK—can be broadly categorised into three different groups. One group, consisting of the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats, appears to align trade policy with industrial strategy. Concerned with building a resilient and secure economic future, their proposed course… Read More

June 25th, 2024

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