Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
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Committee publishes Government response to Trade Remedies report

The International Trade Committee recently (28 May 2021) published the Government’s response to its report on UK trade remedies policy.

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Trade remedies protect domestic industry against unfair trade practices or unexpected surges in imports. Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Government will establish the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) on 1 June 2021, which will investigate trade remedies cases.

While the Government has requested the TRA respond to some of the Report’s recommendations, it has clarified a number of issues:

  • The classification of goods moving into Northern Ireland under the NI Protocol and the extent to which they will fall within the remit of EU trade remedies.
  • An explanation on the purpose of changing the status of trade unions from 'interested parties' to 'contributors' for trade remedies purposes.
  • An explanation of the rationale for the Secretary of State’s differing powers between anti-dumping/anti-subsidy measures and safeguarding measures.

The Committee has also written to the Department for International Trade requesting further information on the Government’s plans to expand the powers of the Secretary of State.

This follows evidence heard by the Committee last week, in which the Secretary of State stated her intention to “strengthen” her trade remedies powers in an attempt to improve the Government’s trade “toolkit”.

The Committee has requested a timeline for the review of these powers, information on whether this will impact legislation, and an outline of the anticipated impact this shift of powers will have on the role of the TRA.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the Government response, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, International Trade Committee Chair, recently said:

“Trade remedies are instrumental in protecting businesses from unfair trading practices. Our Report outlined how the Government could continue to strengthen its trade remedies regime and ensure that securing a trade remedy is as frictionless as possible.

“We welcome the Government’s engagement with our inquiry and look forward to the receiving a response from the Trade Remedies Authority in the coming months.”

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