Examination of Witness

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:51 am on 16th June 2020.

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Roy Freeland:

I am not convinced, as a supporter of free trade, that a Buy British element is appropriate. All I suggest is that we ensure adequate reciprocity, so that if a country effectively has Buy Local Acts, such as the Buy America provisions, we can respond by saying, “You’ve got that; we’ve got similar provisions.” Indeed, tenders could request confirmation from tenderers that their own country would not prohibit comparable and effective access in reverse. A simple requirement like that is appropriate at this stage, rather than prejudging the whole US FTA.

I should point out that the World Trade Organisation and the EU have noticeably failed to deal with Buy America. Therefore, one needs to look at it in another way.