Free Trade Agreement: Australia

International Trade – in the House of Commons on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

What progress she has made on securing a free trade agreement with Australia.

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

We have made good progress, and we are about to go into the third round of talks with Australia next month. I will be speaking to my counterpart, Dan Tehan, next week in advance of that, and we will be fighting to cut tariffs on vital British goods such as ceramics, which face a 5% tariff into Australia.

Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme

I thank my right hon. Friend for her answer and for everything that she and her team, and her negotiators, did last year to get continuity trade agreements for Newcastle-under-Lyme exporters such as Doulton Water Filters, which I met shortly before Christmas. For all our exporters, will my right hon. Friend set out how an agreement with Australia would also facilitate our accession to the CPTPP, which is one of the most vibrant markets in the world and would give us even more opportunities in the future?

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

A deal with Australia will be another important step towards CPTPP, where we will be negotiating a market access schedule with Australia. It is a high-standards, rules-based agreement covering £9 trillion of GDP and, importantly, it removes tariffs on 95% of goods. It has a strong data and digital chapter and it will mean more opportunities for exporters in Newcastle-under-Lyme.