Trade Remedies Authority chief calls for measures to counter protectionism as disputes increase

Mon 28 Jun 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Governments spending on the pandemic and climate change will lead to a growing number of trade disputes, according to the head of the new body that polices unfair trade practices.

Oliver Griffiths, the CEO of the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which investigates such practices and recommends measures to counter them, told the Telegraph that there would be more use of trade remedies such as tariffs on certain imports as protectionism becomes widespread. 

Covid and carbon

“We have a significant amount of subsidy that’s been going into the global economy as part of the response to Covid,” he said. “And we’re likely to see a lot of subsidy going into the global economy as we look to hit net zero carbon.”

As reported in the IOE&IT Daily Update bulletin, the TRA launched at the beginning of June to cover complaints previously handled by the European Commission. 

UK producers can request an investigation by the TRA as long as the industry they operate in represents at least 1% of the UK’s domestic market and the application is supported by at least 25% of all UK production of the affected goods.

Steel uproar

The TRA is reviewing 43 existing EU trade remedy measures. It recently provoked outcry from UK steel producers when it recommended to international trade minister Liz Truss that the UK dropped protective measures on steel imports, as reported in the IOE&IT Daily Update.

The TRA announced that it has begun its first investigation in response to an application from a British industry.

Aluminium producers responsible for about half of UK production have called on the TRA to look at whether China is dumping aluminium extrusions in the UK.