In response to Australia and the United Kingdom formally launching negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement, IEA Academic and Research Director Professor Syed Kamall said:
“This presents an opportunity at a time when there are concerns over increasing protectionist noises from the US and EU, and trade tensions with China.
“It is reassuring for free traders to see the UK announce not only a new UK global tariff, eliminating or reducing a number of import duties, but also open up trade negotiations with a number of countries around the world.
“While coronavirus has clearly had an impact in reducing global trade volumes, we hope other governments will remove any temporary restrictions on trade imposed after the outbreak of Covid-19, pursue bilateral, pluri-lateral and multi-lateral trade talks, and commit to further reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to kickstart the global economy.
“Rather than competing to impose barriers, governments would be better advised to compete on lowering barriers and signing trade agreements.”
The Australian High Commission has launched a short narrative video to accompany the launch, which can be found here
Syed Kamall is the Academic and Research Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Professor of Politics and International Relations at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. From 2005-19, he was a member of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee.
The IEA will be publishing a briefing paper about the impact of coronavirus on trade in the coming weeks.