Trade Agreements

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Jones of Cheltenham Lord Jones of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on new trade deals with (1) Brazil, (2) Russia, (3) India, (4) China, and (5) the United States; how many visits to those countries have been made since 23 June 2016 by ministers and officials of the Department for International Trade; and at what total cost.

Photo of Baroness Fairhead Baroness Fairhead The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

The UK cannot negotiate new trade agreements whilst we are still Members of the European Union.

However, the government has established working groups with a range of key trade partners, including the United States, China and India, to explore the best ways of progressing our trade and investment relationships. Individual announcements on the progress of working groups will continue to be made on Gov.uk.

We are also using other instruments, such as Joint Trade Reviews and Joint Economic and Trade Committees (JETCOs) with countries including China, India and Brazil, to continue to deepen our respective trading relationships. We have already held JETCOs with India and Brazil this year, and will hold one with China later in the summer.

Department for International Trade (DIT) Ministers have visited Brazil, India, China and the USA on 34 occasions since 23 June 2016. No DIT Ministers have visited Russia since this date. Details of expenditure for DIT Ministerial travel overseas is published on Gov.uk on a quarterly basis. All Ministerial journeys adhere to Cabinet Office rules on international travel and are published as part of the Department’s ministerial transparency returns (the most recent can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/dit-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel-january-to-march-2018).

The total number of DIT officials that have visited the countries listed is not recorded centrally.

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