UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

International Trade – in the House of Commons on 19th November 2020.

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Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones Conservative, Brecon and Radnorshire

What steps her Department has taken to ensure that (a) farmers and (b) food producers in Wales can benefit from the UK-Japan comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

The UK-Japan CEPA will benefit farmers and food producers in Wales through lower tariffs than would have been the case without an agreement. It also allows more UK goods to access preferential tariffs than under the EU-Japan agreement, thanks to new rules of origin. New protections for more iconic Welsh food products may also be possible, including for Welsh lamb and coracle-caught sewin.

Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones Conservative, Brecon and Radnorshire

Twelve Welsh geographic indicator products have been protected in the UK-Japan deal on which I warmly congratulate the Department. I am particularly pleased to hear the Minister mention Welsh lamb. Can he reassure me that those products will be respected and protected in future trade deals, particularly with the US and Australia?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. There is the potential inclusion of around 70 geographic indicators, 12 of which are from Wales—she is quite right—including Welsh beef, Welsh lamb, Welsh wine, cider, perry, Caerphilly cheese, Carmarthen ham and others. One of our key objectives is to be able to sell Welsh lamb into the United States—British lamb overall is not currently allowed into the United States—but we will be fighting to get an improvement in Welsh lamb exports around the globe.