Parliamentary committee calls for written evidence on Australian and New Zealand trade deals

Mon 12 Sept 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

UK Parliament UK New Zealand Australian trade deal

The Parliamentary committee reviewing the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill is calling for evidence on potential impact of two of the UK’s first new post-Brexit free trade agreements.

The Public Bill Committee is seeking written evidence from those with expertise in trade or with an interest in the UK’s deals with either Australia or New Zealand.

Legislative process

The bill, which would move the Australia and New Zealand trade agreements into the UK statute book, is facing line-by-line scrutiny as part of the legislative process.

As covered previously on the IOE&IT Daily Update, the bill passed its second reading by 309 votes to 56, and received verbal support from the opposition Labour party.

The deals with Australia and New Zealand are among the first completely new free trade agreements to be signed by the UK since it completed its exit from the EU.

Other post-Brexit agreements, with countries including Japan and Canada, largely rolled over trade arrangements that the UK previously had as a member of the bloc.

Evidence quickly

The government’s call for evidence “strongly” advises interested parties to submit their views as quickly as possible.

According to Parliament’s website: “the sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.”

Parliament has published explanatory notes and a briefing document, alongside the bill itself, to assist those wanting to submit evidence.

Timeline

The report from the committee is scheduled to be published on 22 September. However, it could be issued earlier and, once this happens, the committee will no longer be able to consider evidence.

Most Parliamentary activities are currently on hold, however, due to the period of national mourning following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Purported benefits

Former international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who headed the Department for International Trade when the agreements were signed, has previously claimed that “over the long run our UK-Australia agreement is expected to increase annual trade by over £10 billion.”

The New Zealand deal is expected to boost UK-NZ trade “by 60%”, providing an £800m uplift to the UK economy,” Trevelyan also said.

Opportunities for trade

According to a poll of traders at a recent IOE&IT webinar on ‘Opportunities for UK traders in Australia’, only 34.3% of attendees were currently exporting to Australia, with 38.3% stating they were planning to begin exporting.

Over 60% of delegates named tariffs as a key benefit of the Australia-UK trade deal, with a further 22.8% stating that they expected “reduced bureaucracy” to be the main benefit.

Have your say

The Institute of Export & International Trade acts as an interlocutor between its members, the wider trader community and the government on trade deal negotiations.

To submit your views and feedback on the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill, please contact us at clientservices@export.org.uk.