Response from members of the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) and the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy (CITP)

Posted on 17-03-23 by Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy - Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 0

The UKTPO is an independent expert group at Sussex University that initiates, comments on and analyses on trade policy. The Observatory offers impartial expertise and services to help support government departments, international organisations, businesses and other stakeholders to develop new trade policies in the post-Brexit era.
The Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy (CITP) is the first Centre dedicated to trade policy to be funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and a centre of excellence for innovative trade policy research. The Centre is built on the precept that trade policy should be inclusive in both policy formulation and outcome.
The responses submitted represent the expert views of the individual contributors as opposed to an institutional position of either the UKTPO or the CITP.
We highlight our recommendations below. Full details are provided in the attached document

Recommendations
Trade Policy and Growth
• Re-establish good access to/from the EU for trade (rules of origin, technical standards, regulatory barriers to services, trade facilitation).
• Trade agreements are not the solution to the labour issue but can help with the temporary movement of workers.
• This is also an important part of market access in services.
• Good stable policy incentivises inflows of Foreign Direct Investment
• You need policies to allow/encourage adjustment to trade opportunities

Digital economy and digital trade policy
• Commit to research funding to develop and attract skills for maintaining a world-leading research base.
• Set out a technology strategy that ensures the UK's world leadership in R&D and technology regulation.
• Uphold high standards of UK data privacy and prioritise legal and technical solutions that render different data governance schemes inter-operable

International trade, worker and human rights
• Maintain existing policy on conditionality clauses as part of unilateral preference schemes.
• Set out a clear policy on minimum acceptable priorities/standards with regard to worker and human rights and social/environmental chapters in FTAs and for these to be legally enforceable and subject to dispute settlement where possible.
• Domestic/foreign workers' and human rights concerns should not be used to excuse protectionism
• The explicit evaluation of the impact of trade (policy) on workers' and human rights outcomes to provide evidence for future policy
• Focussing on a worker-centred trade policy is unhelpful as it prioritises one group in society over others.
• International cooperation is needed to address conflictual goals and minimize the harm of trade sanctions
• If trade has a negative impact on some, consider mitigating policies rather than reducing trade

A trade strategy to support domestic decarbonization and environmental objectives
• The UK should work closely with the EU on climate and environmental policy. Not doing so could have costs for UK industry.
• The UK should link its ETS scheme to the EU's and thereby avoid all CBAM charges and requirements.
• Restore democratic processes to strengthen trade outcomes on UK consumer protection and environmental regulation
• Introduce effective border checks to ensure the enforcement of product environmental requirements

Trade Resilience and Economic Security

• A strategy is needed that identifies which sectors are critical, how the supply chains work, why they are vulnerable and the justification for government intervention.
• Only intervene where there is clear evidence that the private sector is not doing enough, where intervention can be effective and well-targeted.
• Unilateral policies: range from subsidies and stockpiling, to investment controls and foreign subsidy controls, to SME support
• International policies are needed because supply chains are invariably international: bilateral (eg. use of FTAs, early warning systems), plurilateral (standards/regulations) to multilateral (working through the WTO) initiatives.

Referring to: Britain in the world

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