This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.


With parliament returning from recess, debates on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and discussions about the UK’s industrial strategy lead the agenda in Westminster this week.

The Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) also resumes its webinar programme with a look at sustainable trade on Thursday.

Parliament returns

Today (19 February) will see MPs returning to Parliament after last week’s recess.

Bills and inquiries affecting the world of trade include tomorrow’s (20 February) oral evidence session on industrial policy, in which several former business secretaries – including Lord Mandelson, Vince Cable and Greg Clark – will answer questions on how to boost the UK’s competitiveness on the world stage.

The bill to ratify the UK’s accession to CPTPP is continuing to progress through the Commons, with a general committee set for today.

The UK’s entry to the bloc has generated controversy over a perceived misrepresentation of the deal’s benefits and concerns over biosecurity given the less stringent food standards in some member countries.

Republican primary

The South Carolina Republican primary will be held on Saturday (24 February), with some commentators predicting the race between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump could be decided on the basis of the result.

Haley’s losses to Trump in New Hampshire and Nevada are making her nomination look increasingly unlikely.

Dismissed as a “globalist” by Trump, Haley’s platform is much more amenable to free trade than the former president. Last month, she criticised Trump’s plan for a universal 10% tariff on imports, questioning how the average American household would afford an estimated $2,600 jump in expenditure.

Lunchtime Learning

Thursday (22 February) will see the next session of the member-exclusive Lunchtime Learning webinar programme from the IOE&IT, with a focus on sustainable trade and the key trends you need to be aware of for 2024.

IOE&IT trade and customs specialist Sandra Cooper will discuss key issues such as how environmental, societal and governance (ESG) standards should be integrated into the supply chain and the potential impact of new EU regulations, such as its recently-introduced carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).

Members can still sign up for the 12pm webinar here.

Other dates in the diary:

Monday: Read Sea naval mission “deadline” at EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting 

Tuesday: Secretary of state for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris appears on select committee session on Windsor Framework

Wednesday: OECD quarterly growth figures released

Thursday: UN Security Council discusses situation in the Middle East 

Friday: UN General Assembly and UN Security Council discuss situation in Ukraine

Saturday: Second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Sunday: Parliamentary elections in Belarus and early presidential voting begins in Russia