The Week Ahead in International Trade: Party conferences and electric moves

Mon 25 Sept 2023
Posted by: Benjamin Roche, Phil Adnett
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This week is party time, as political conference season kicks off in earnest.

Over the weekend, we’ve seen the Liberal Democrats start the season with a four-day conference (23-26 September).

Following on from them are the Conservatives, who open their party conference next Sunday (1 October), where the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) will hold an event in partnership with The Spectator.

Here’s what else we’re looking forward to this week.

Conference season: We’re in week one of party conference season.

This week, the Lib Dems have most of our attention. Leader, Ed Davey, is delivering his keynote speech tomorrow. He’s already announced that the party won’t be increasing the tax rate by 1p to fund education and healthcare, and rumour has it that more commitments are incoming.

If the election, currently expected in 2024, produces a hung parliament, the Lib Dems are likely to be kingmakers for any Labour or Conservative governments.

On Sunday, the Conservatives open their own conference, with foreign secretary James Cleverly and defence secretary Grant Shapps taking to the main stage.

EU-China visit: Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s trade head, will continue his visit to Beijing, where he’s expected to push for easier access to China’s markets for European businesses.

Electric vehicles: Later this week, EU trade officials are expected to meet to discuss the upcoming electric vehicle tariff ‘cliff-edge’. Motor associations on both sides of the channel have urged this to be pushed back, but the EU has yet to show any signs of budging.

DG’s diary: Fresh off the Lib Dem business day on Sunday, IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione will be attending a meeting aboard the HMS President, celebrating the work of military reservists.

Shakespeare’s sonnet: Director of strategic projects Kevin Shakespeare will be at the InterTrade Ireland conference on Wednesday (27 September), followed by the XVI World Customs Law Meeting in Berlin on Thursday (28 September).

Webinar: Tomorrow, the IOE&IT will be holding a webinar on the ongoing migration to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). Hosted by Daily Update executive editor William Barns-Graham, the webinar will focus on the current timeline and what traders can do now to prepare for CDS. Tune in from 2pm onwards to learn more.

Other dates for the diary:

  • Monday: Start of National Inclusion Week
  • Tuesday: International Energy Agency’s updated roadmap on net zero emissions
  • Wednesday: Vote in Spanish Parliament that could see the opposition leader oust the incumbent prime minister
  • Thursday: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders release automotive production figures
  • Friday: Med9 summit of Mediterranean and Southern European nations, hosted by Malta
  • Saturday: The ban on the import of Russian iron and steel products processed in a third country comes into effect. Also, the European Carbon Adjustment Mechanism comes into effect.
  • Sunday: Conservative party conference opens