UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan launches developing countries trading system

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The UK is using its post-Brexit powers to launch one of the world’s most generous trade schemes with developing countries.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured) has launched the new Developing Countries Trading System (DCTS), which will extend tariff reductions to hundreds of additional products exported from developing countries, going further than the DCTS generalized EU preferences.

This is in addition to the thousands of products developing countries can already export to the UK duty free [and will mean 99% of goods imported from Africa, for example will enter the UK duty free].

The scheme means a wide variety of goods – from clothes and shoes to foods that aren’t widely produced in the UK, including olive oil and tomatoes – will get reduced or zero tariffs.

The Developing Countries Exchange Scheme ensures UK businesses can benefit from over £750m a year in reduced import costs, providing greater choice and lower costs for UK consumers to help with the cost of living.

DCTS covers 65 countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, including some of the world’s poorest countries.

It removes some seasonal tariffs, meaning more options for UK supermarkets and stores throughout the year. For example, cucumbers, which cannot be grown in the UK in winter, will now be duty free during this period for the majority of program countries.

As an independent trading nation, we are taking back control of our trade policy and making decisions that support UK businesses, contribute to the cost of living and support the economies of developing countries around the world. UK businesses can expect less red tape and lower costs, encouraging companies to import goods from developing countries.

Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The system also simplifies complex trade rules such as rules of origin – the rules dictating how much of a product must be made in its country of origin.

This work is part of a wider UK initiative to promote an agenda of free trade and growth across the world, using trade to drive prosperity and help eradicate poverty.

This campaign includes a new initiative called Platinum Partnerships, designed to increase trade between the UK and selected low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries and reduce aid dependency. Partnerships will enhance two-way green trade and investment, helping countries adapt to climate change.

The Prime Minister also recently announced the creation of a new Trade Expertise Centre, which will bring together the best of UK expertise to support partner governments, giving them the tools they need to engage more actively in the global trading system.

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