Sunday, 3 July, 2022

Britain, Canada launch free trade talks

OTTAWA: Britain and Canada announced Thursday the launch of bilateral free trade negotiations, as London looks to firm up trade access since formally leaving the European Union last year.

“I am thrilled to announce that Canada and the United Kingdom are officially launching negotiations towards a new free trade agreement,” Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng told a joint news conference in Ottawa with her British counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan, reports AFP.

Negotiations, Ng said, are expected to take two years.

She noted that in 2021, “the UK was Canada’s third largest trading partner in goods and services with billions of dollars flowing between our two countries.”

Trevelyan said that Britain is the world’s largest exporter of services and that “almost half of our exports to Canada (have been) services.”

“We want to go further and faster than ever before to boost trade in areas like digital, financial and legal services and research and development,” she said.

The announcement followed two days of talks earlier this week between Trevelyan and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in the port city of Baltimore.

Trevalyan and Tai said they would continue their talks next month in Scotland.

“Hopefully we can now move forward and focus on deepening our thriving trading relationship with the US,” the British official said after Washington agreed to lift tariffs on British steel and aluminum imports imposed by former president Donald Trump.