Department for International Trade
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New 'International Trade Profession' launched across Whitehall

Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, Crawford Falconer aims to develop Civil Service trade policy skills for post-Brexit preparations.

  • 11 Heads of International Trade Profession from across Whitehall appointed, all working with Crawford Falconer, the government’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser
  • the group will ensure the government builds and grows existing trade capability

Yesterday (Tuesday 1 May) Crawford Falconer, the government’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, officially launched the ‘International Trade Profession’.

The profession will raise the skills and ambitions of those working, or aspiring to work, in international trade by:

  • opening up new roles and career opportunities in the UK government
  • supporting talented people to develop careers in trade
  • providing a world class training programme

The recognition of international trade as one of government’s most important skills represents an important step forward in post-Brexit trade preparations.

Ten government departments (in addition to DIT) have appointed a Head of International Trade Profession working with DIT’s Falconer. The group will champion the profession within government ensuring that UK trade expertise continues to grow as a pipeline of talent to tackle the future is developed.

On the importance of international trade becoming a core government discipline, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

By establishing the International Trade Profession, we have embedded the development of trade negotiation capability at the heart of the government’s agenda and taken another important step in getting UK trade policy Brexit-ready.

Crawford Falconer, the government’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser and Head of International Trade Profession, said:

As Head of Profession, it is my job to ensure that UK trade negotiators are ready to strike trade deals around the world and deliver the benefits of free trade to all parts of the country.

Through the profession we are ensuring government attracts the best and brightest talent by not only offering trade professionals a clear route into working on trade policy, exports and investment at the centre of government but also nurturing their ability for the future through access to world-class training.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

Trade between the UK and partners old and new is a fundamental catalyst to job creation, productivity and prosperity across the country.

Business will warmly welcome the appointment of Heads of International Trade Profession across Whitehall, demonstrating that the government is building expertise and capability in a crucial area for post-Brexit Britain.

The government has a vital role to play in helping to dismantle trade barriers and improve market access around the globe. This is particularly key for the thousands of smaller, entrepreneurial firms who want to break into new markets, and who hold the key to unlocking our trading future.

Business and the government can be powerful joint venture partners when entering new markets.

Further information

The Department for International Trade (DIT) secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. We are an international economic department, responsible for:

  • bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment, and help businesses succeed
  • delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK as we leave the EU
  • promoting British trade and investment across the world
  • building the global appetite for British goods and services

Contact the DIT Media Team on 020 7215 2000 or email

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