Here the IOE&IT’s William Barns-Graham sifts through the morning news headlines to bring readers a digest of important stories relevant to international trade.
1. Lifting the lockdown
The PM said yesterday (Monday, 27 April) it is too early to lift the UK’s lockdown, but the government is starting to consider how this will be done.
The Guardian reports that ministers are in talks with industry chiefs about how to do so safely, with the FT revealing business leaders voicing concern over a lack of clarity so far.
Meanwhile, Lloyds Loading List reports on how the staggered lifting of lockdowns will affect supply chains globally.
2. More government help for small businesses
The Chancellor bowed down to pressure to introduce government-backed guarantees for small businesses. This morning, many newspapers including The Guardian and the FT reported on how SMEs will be able to apply for loans of up to £50,000 which are fully underwritten by the government.
3. Brexit talks back on – but are reportedly fraught
After reports of testy exchanges in Brexit talks over the weekend, PM Johnson has re-entered the fray by telling the EU to treat the UK as an ‘independent nation’.
Liz Truss, minister for international trade, has written in The Telegraph this morning calling on nations to embrace free trade, not protectionism, in the global response to the pandemic.
4. German export ‘slump’
In Europe, The Times reports a ‘slump’ in German exports, with national GDP expected to drop by 6%. The good news for Germany is that European car factories are set to restart, though as Reuters reports, there are concerns over demand.
5. Insurers press case for government help on underwriting trade credit
Insurers providing trade credit are continuing to put pressure on the government to support the industry.
The FT reports that leading providing Euler Hermes had written to brokers in the UK outlining that they would carry out plans to withdraw cover should the UK not follow the lead of Germany, France and Belgium — which unveiled its package of support last week — and provide credit insurers with a backstop.