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8 July 2021Image of Alan Winters

L. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the UKTPO. Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

On 1st June 2021, as part of its post-Brexit trade architecture, the UK Government launched the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA). On 11th June the TRA recommended the extension of only some of the quotas and tariffs on steel imports that the UK had inherited from the EU. On 30th June, one day before these measures were due to expire, the Government rejected the TRA’s recommendation and extended the policies on several categories of steel for which the TRA had recommended the revocation. It also announced a review to check whether the TRA was ‘fit for purpose’. What was going on? And does it matter?

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July 8th, 2021

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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25 February 2021

Peter Holmes is a Fellow of the UKTPO. Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex.

The Government’s competition for proposals to create ten Freeports across the UK came to a close earlier this month with an announcement of the successful locations expected soon. Freeports are areas within a country that are outside its customs territory. Goods coming into the country via Freeports are exempt from paying tariffs until they enter the mainland or are shipped to another country. In the UK Freeports model[1] these areas may also be subject to special regulatory, tax, or subsidy rules. Such features may make the terms Enterprise Zone, Special Economic Zone or, the more general, Free Trade Zone more appropriate. The full details of all bids have not been published but summary reports indicate wide variety of business cases. (more…)

February 25th, 2021

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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20 November 2020

Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and Director of the UKTPO.

Discussions and evaluations on the future UK-EU relationship have been on-going since the referendum of June 2016, and we are close to another milestone – by the end of the year, we will either have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU or no-deal. Note this is a milestone and not the endgame. Whether or not there is an agreement there will still be considerable practicalities to resolve, and no doubt some areas will be open to future negotiation. There is a lot of talk in the press about sticking points (fisheries, state aid and level playing field provisions, dispute settlement) but how good the deal is for the UK will depend on the scope and the depth of what is agreed, and whether some areas are only notionally covered and need to be sorted out in future negotiations. (more…)

November 20th, 2020

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29 October 2020

Yohannes Ayele is Research Fellow in the Economics of Brexit at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

Update 30 October 2020: This is a slightly revised version of the blog we released yesterday. Sorry for any confusion we may have caused. Essentially, we tripped over the fact that the first year of the UK-Japan CEPA trade liberalisation schedule lasts for only one month, in order to bring it into line with that of the EU-Japan EPA.

Having left the EU and with the conclusion of the transition period at the end of 2020, the signing of new free trade agreements with countries that cover 80% of the UK trade by 2022 has been an integral part of government plans. On 23 October 2020, the UK signed its first post-Brexit free trade agreement  – with Japan, the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). This blog provides an analysis of the extent of the trade liberalisation in this new deal. (more…)

October 29th, 2020

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2 October 2020

The UKTPO held its third annual conference on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September. The conference, under the theme ‘World Trade Policy: Back to the Future?’, addressed two of the most important issues in trade policy today.

Three presentations explored aspects of the as yet unknown UK trading regime after the end of the transition period, including the impact of uncertainty, the effect of tariff reversals, and the political economy of protection, respectively. Secondly, trade in the 21st century is ever more intertwined with other areas of public policy and, this year, two sessions explored the links between trade and the environment. Lastly, the conference concluded with a Roundtable discussion on trade and economic cohesion in the UK after Brexit. (more…)

October 2nd, 2020

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28 July 2020

Peter Holmes is a Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) Freeports consultation document states duty inversion as one of the four core benefits of a Freeport: “If the duty on a finished product is lower than that on the component parts, a company could benefit by importing components duty free, manufacture the final product in the Freeport, and then pay the duty at the rate of the finished product when it enters the UK’s domestic market.” (more…)

July 28th, 2020

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21 May 2020

Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Suppose a country was (more or less) starting from scratch with its trade policy, and anticipated wanting to sign future trade agreements with other countries. What might you want from that country’s tariff structure? At the end of the day it is important to remember that tariffs are discriminatory taxes (i.e. they discriminate against foreign suppliers) which reduce competition, distort markets and lower national welfare. So, aiming to get to low (zero) tariffs is a good objective. But there may also be some other considerations. Here are some guidelines: (more…)

May 21st, 2020

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Image of Alan Winters20 May 2020

L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory, Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. 

On Tuesday 19th May the UK’s ‘Global Tariff’ was published. These are the tariffs that will apply on any products that the UK imports on a Most Favoured Nation (MFN) basis from the end of the transition period when the UK is no longer bound by the EU’s Common External Tariff. The published tariffs come after a public consultation on the subject was held in February this year.

This note summarises how the new tariff compares to the UK’s current MFN tariffs (which are also the rates that the UK has bound in the WTO for after the transition period) and outlines what has changed since the tariff consultation. (more…)

May 20th, 2020

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7 May 2020

Dr Anna Jerzewska is an independent customs and trade consultant, and Associate Fellow of the UKTPO.

While the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government’s decision not to request an extension to the transition period means that the UK and the EU have only eight months until 31st December 2020 to complete the talks on the future trading relationship. If a trade deal is not agreed by 1 January 2021 the Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect. The Protocol, which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement, determines how the Irish border will work in the absence of agreement at the end of the transition period. A Joint Committee, a body established within the Withdrawal Agreement, is charged with, amongst other things, deciding how the Protocol will be implemented. The deadline for making these decisions is therefore fast approaching. (more…)

May 7th, 2020

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31 March 2020

Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. 

On Wednesday 18 March, the UKTPO published a Briefing Paper in response to the UK Government’s consultation on the UK’s future applied Most Favoured Nation tariff.

In lieu of a public launch event, which had to be cancelled due to coronavirus, this blog outlines some excellent feedback we have already received and aims to open up the issue for further discussion. (more…)

March 31st, 2020

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