Trade Bites, the UKTPO’s new podcast series, explores all things trade policy – including Brexit, Trade Wars, and the World Trade System.

Hosted by Chris Horseman, Deputy Editor of the Trade Policy News Service – Borderlex, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the series aims to provide a cultural artefact on trade policy at a critical point not just for the UK, but for the wider world.

Available on  iTunes | Soundcloud


Episode 8 – What’s for sale? The NHS and trade agreements

26 March 2020

For many people, the idea that the National Health Service may be ‘up for sale’ in the UK’s upcoming international trade negotiations is a cause of great anxiety. But what does that phrase even mean? The NHS offers a massive range of services, from brain surgery to cleaning the hospital windows. So if any of these services are subcontracted, who is allowed to bid for them? To what extent do health care services form part of the discussions in international trade negotiations, such as the one the UK has recently commenced with the US? And are there international rules about what can, or should, or may not be on the table?

To get to grips with these important questions, Chris Horseman is joined by Dr Ingo Borchert and Laura Bannister, Senior Adviser at the Trade Justice Movement.


Episode 7 – US-China trade tensions: The threats and opportunities for Europe

19 March 2020

For the past few years, the United States and China have been at each other’s throats, with the Trump administration slapping a series of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing responding with its own retaliatory measures. The US accuses China of not playing fair when it comes to global trade. So what is it that China has done to incur the wrath of the White House? What lies behind the tensions between Washington and Beijing? And why should Europe care about what is going on? Are there opportunities that UK businesses could exploit, or will UK exporters just get caught in the crossfire?

To explore the specifics of these trade tensions, Chris Horseman is joined by Jim Rollo and Steven McGuire.


Episode 6 – Open to the world? The UK’s Global Tariff consultation

17 March 2020

Back in early February, the Department for International Trade announced that it was seeking the views of stakeholders on what sort of tariffs the UK should apply on its imports of goods. As an EU member, the UK applied the same tariffs as the rest of the EU, but as from next year it can do what it likes tariff-wise. So is this a chance for ‘Global Britain’ to tear away the protectionist trappings of the EU and embrace the free market at last? Or might Britain’s manufacturing and agricultural industries want to retain some tariff protection against cheaper imports from overseas? And how do UK import tariffs actually affect businesses, consumers and the UK economy?

To offer their views on all this and more, Chris Horseman is joined by Julia Magntorn Garrett, Rodney Ludema, Allie Renison, and Sue Davies.


Episode 5 – Going Truly Global: Britain’s role in the World Trade Organisation


12 March 2020

After almost half a century as an EU member state, the UK is about to become an autonomous member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). For some, this represents an exciting opportunity. But what is the value of WTO membership? And given the multiple challenges that the rules-based trading system is facing at present, can Britain be a force for good in securing a more reliable trading environment?

To explore all this and more, Chris Horseman is joined by Minako Morita-JaegerPatrick Low and Amar Breckenridge.


Episode 4 – Dude where’s my border? UK, Irish and EU trade post-Brexit

5 March 2020

The question of the Irish border has always been one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU. Boris Johnson has claimed that his Brexit deal is the best of all worlds, maintaining frictionless trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. But is this case? What does the settlement reached in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement actually mean for trade between Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and the rest of the EU?

Chris Horseman is joined by Professor L. Alan Winters, Professor Michael Gasiorek, and BBC Northern Ireland’s Business and Economics Editor, John Campbell.


Episode 3 – How will the UK approve future trade agreements?

27 February 2020

Now that the UK has left the European Union, the Government has promised to complete a whole string of Free Trade Agreements with the EU, the United States, and various other trading partners around the world. But is there a catch to doing these negotiations? Are there trade-offs involved – and what are they likely to be? And how easy will it be to work towards a closer trade relationship with the rest of the world, while still in the process of disengaging from the EU?

Chris Horseman is joined by Dr Emily Lydgate, Dr Anna Jerzewska, Maddy Thimont Jack, and Dr Holger Hestermeyer to unravel these complex questions.


Episode 2 – Have we got Brexit done yet? (And if not – what’s left to do?)

20 February 2020

Boris Johnson promised to ‘get Brexit done’ when he won the UK General Election in December 2019 – and on one level he achieved that aim on 31 January. However, there is still much to be decided as the UK begins the process of disengaging from the EU. Can a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides be achieved by the transition deadline of 31 December? What happens if a deal can’t be struck? Does the Brexit cliff-edge loom once more?

Chris Horseman is joined by Peter Holmes, Anand Menon and Fabian Zuleeg to explore what is still on the Brexit agenda in the months and years ahead.


Episode 1 – Testing the Special Relationship: Prospects for a UK-US Trade Deal

13 February 2020

As the UK enters the post-Brexit transition period, Boris Johnson has made clear that a trade deal with the US is as big a priority, if not more so, than a deal with the EU. But are Britain and America natural trade partners? What benefits could a transatlantic trade deal deliver? And what about chlorinated chicken?

To discuss all this and more, Chris Horseman is joined by Professor Michael Gasiorek, Sir Jonathan Faull, Iana Dreyer, and Alan Beattie.


This podcast is brought to you by the UK Trade Policy Observatory, in association with Borderlex.