Developing Countries: Trade Agreements

Department for International Development written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the poverty levels of countries traded with under the Everything But Arms Agreement.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act enables the UK to put in place a UK trade preferences scheme for developing countries. The UK trade preference scheme will provide the same level of access as the current EU trade preference scheme by granting duty-free, quota-free access to the 48 Least Developed Countries covered by the Everything But Arms tier.

The way to end poverty and aid dependency is through inclusive economic growth, jobs, investment and trade. Unilateral preferences, including those provided through the Everything But Arms tier, are part of the UK’s wider efforts to reduce poverty. By providing access into a larger market, preferences support job creation and entrepreneurship within developing economies. They play a vital part in supporting the UK’s global poverty reduction efforts. At the same time, they can provide access to cheaper products for UK businesses and consumers.

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