Trade secretary to focus on export opportunities worth £20b to the UK

Since Brexit, the UK has been allowed to make its own trade deals with countries around the world. An advantage of this is that the UK now has more to offer in return when looking for export opportunities in foreign markets. For example, the EU’s universal anti-dumping duties are no longer compulsory for goods entering the UK, so they can be removed if this will benefit trade in Britain.

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has announced in a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce that the UK Government will be targeting over 100 priority trade barriers so that Britain’s world-leading products and services can reach millions of new customers around the world.

Export opportunities for products and services


In her speech, the trade secretary highlighted that trade barriers are removed every week to boost the UK’s exports. Export opportunities are important for UK trade as it is shown that business who export pay higher wages and are more active than those that don’t.

Some examples of the restrictions that Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan plans to target are:

– UK lawyers being able to practice in Japan.
– British lamb being sold to China, opening up £1.5b worth of trade potential.
– South Korean meat markets, worth £2.5b, by removing restrictions on beef.
– Medical equipment destined for South Africa will be more easily passed and registered, creating better availability for medical care in the region.

Opportunities for export already created by Brexit

Since Brexit allowed the UK to create our own free trade agreements, the Department for International Trade has already removed circa 400 barriers for trade, across over 70 countries. This includes:

– The removal of bureaucratic issues to allow pet supplements to be exported to India.
– Export opportunities for cosmetic companies due to the UK working with China to remove animal testing requirements.
– An easier process for exporting cosmetics to Indonesia.
– Negotiating with Mongolia to remove difficult processes that  were blocking the export opportunities for fisheries and poultry producers.

Recent removal of steel and whisky duties in the United States of America

President Donald Trump introduced a 25% duty on steel imports and 10% duty on aluminum imports in the USA in 2018. This was designed to block imports as his government deemed foreign metals a threat to US international security.

Following 4 years of negotiations, exporters of steel and aluminum are able to export to the USA without these additional duties from 1st June 2022. In return, the UK has provided export opportunities for popular products in the USA such as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Levi clothing by removing import duties in the UK.

The whisky industry in the UK has been granted export opportunities by the removal of the 25% duty in the USA. The UK whisky industry is the biggest exporter of food and drink with exports of circa £4.6b of a year, with over £820m being sold to the USA. The industry grew by 20% last year, and the removal of duties in the US mean that there is now greater export opportunities for UK whiskey makers in the US market.

Additionally, import duties on whiskey and bourbon from the US have had duties into the UK lowered or removed, allowing export opportunities for US whiskey and bourbon makers in the UK market.


Will you be capitalising on export opportunities into new markets?

 Universal Customs Clearance provide export customs clearance services in every major port across the UK. If you are looking to capitalise on new export opportunities into foreign markets, then we are here to facilitate your clearances wherever you need them. Contact one of our team for advice today.


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