Welsh Exports

International Trade – in the House of Commons on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Jane Dodds Jane Dodds Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Food and Rural Affairs)

What recent assessment she has made of the potential effects of WTO tariffs on Welsh exports after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

The best way to avoid potential tariff barriers is to support good free trade agreements with both the EU and the US. I hope the hon. Lady will support any deal the Government bring forward to make sure we can leave the EU with a deal.

Photo of Jane Dodds Jane Dodds Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Food and Rural Affairs)

I have spoken before about the impact of export tariffs on Welsh lamb and beef exports, which would be seriously damaging for the Welsh farmers I represent in Brecon and Radnorshire. We have heard the Government recently talk up Japan as a tariff-free export destination, but only £4,000 of lamb goes to that particular country. Can the Secretary of State provide a guarantee—yes or no—that the livelihood of Welsh farmers, such as those in Brecon and Radnorshire, will not suffer as a result of the imposition of these export tariffs?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

I know that very high-quality lamb is produced in the hon. Lady’s constituency. In fact, I have visited the Rhayader sheep market and seen it for myself. I can assure her that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working with the Treasury to make sure there is support for lamb farmers in the eventuality of potential issues. However, we also need to open up more markets for British lamb. I have particularly got my eye on the US market—it is the second largest importer of lamb by value in the world—and we need to make sure that Welsh lamb farmers have more places to which they can export.