First Japan, is Canada next? The UK set to begin talks with Ottawa in over future trade deal

Tue 15 Sept 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

uk canada

Fresh on the heels of securing its first trade deal as an independent nation with Japan last week, the UK is set to recontinue trade talks with Canada.

The UK hadn’t negotiated a free trade agreement on its own in 47 years, having been party to arrangements secured by the EU while it was a member of the bloc.

Since formally leaving the EU on 31 January 2020, the UK has also commenced talks with the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The government is now accelerating plans to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) of 11 nations – including both Japan and Canada.

Phase 1 agreement

Trade Secretary Liz Truss last week confirmed that talks were restarting between the UK and Canada.

According to the Telegraph, the Canadian government envisages a “Phase One” agreement” which would preserve the current provisions of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), before moving onto negotiations for a fresh free trade agreement.

Canada, reportedly supports Britain’s accession to the CPTPP – a move which gathered fresh momentum last week when Truss held her first formal meeting with representatives from all 11 nations.

The major sticking point in the new UK-Canada talks is likely to be agriculture, particularly dairy products.

UK-Canada trade

Trade between the UK and Canada is valued at around £19.7bn annually, the Telegraph reports.

The UK’s top exports to Canada are:

  • Vehicles and equipment
  • Machinery and mechanical products
  • Chemical products
  • Minerals
  • Food

Its top imports are:

  • Precious metals/stones
  • Minerals
  • Machinery and mechanical products
  • Vehicles and equipment
  • Base metals

(Source: Government of Canada)