Trade Agreements

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 17th January 2019.

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Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour/Co-operative, Ilford South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many specialist trade negotiators have been appointed by his Department in each month since July 2016.

Photo of George Hollingbery George Hollingbery Minister of State (International Trade)

Since the Department was created its Trade Policy Group (TPG) has grown to Approximately 470 people at the end of October 2018, bringing together trade policy, country specialists and experts on trade policy issues. A number of DIT staff in offshore posts are also undertaking work on market access trade policy issues.

Typically, a trade negotiation will involve teams of differing sizes, with expertise relevant to the specific chapters or sectors being negotiated as part of that agreement which will differ for each but will be drawn primarily from DIT TPG. The exact make up will depend on the complexity and scope of any agreement and would be staffed by DIT policy officials with the involvement of expertise from other Departments. These officials are not designated negotiators specifically.

In addition other DIT staff will also be involved in supporting the negotiators and for instance, handling relations with Parliament and external stakeholders.

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