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The Welsh Government's approach to international trade during, and after, the transition period.

First published:
3 July 2020
Last updated:

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union on 31st January, the UK has embarked on negotiations of a number of free trade agreements (FTA) with the EU, US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The Welsh Government is working to ensure that Welsh interests are protected and promoted as part of these negotiations.

The Welsh Parliament’s External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee scrutinises the Welsh Government on international trade matters.

The External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee on SENEDD.CYMRU.

Trade Policy Advisory Group

The Trade Policy Advisory Group advises the Welsh Government on trade policy matters, with particular reference to the UK government's post-Brexit trade negotiations.

Trade remedies and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The Welsh Government is closely working with the UK government to ensure that Welsh interests are promoted at the WTO, including it’s the influential Agriculture, Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade Committees, which the UK now participates in. We are also working to ensure that the Welsh Government is ready to fulfil the reporting and notification requirements and other obligations that comes with being an active member of the WTO.

Following the transition period, the responsibility for trade remedies, i.e. tackling unfair international trading practices, will return to the UK. The UK government is establishing a trade remedies authority (TRA). The TRA will be responsible for responding to any detrimental impact arising from unfair trading practices. The Welsh Government will have a role in identifying and responding to any unfair trading practices in Wales.

If you have any questions about the Welsh Government’s new relationship with the WTO or about the trade remedies contact tradepolicy@gov.wales.

If you have a complaint or query on what you believe may be unfair competition from businesses in other countries contact contact@traderemedies.gov.uk.

Support for Welsh businesses

Business Wales can help Welsh businesses understand and grow their international trade.

Telephone: 03000 6 03000.

Welsh Government trade priorities

The Welsh Government’s top priority for trade policy is for the UK to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, which will ensure there are no tariffs and minimise non-tariff barriers on trade with our most important trading partner.

We support attempts to negotiate FTAs with other countries beyond the EU, but believe these should not undermine our current high environmental and labour market standards (including food standards and standards related to animal welfare) nor our commitment to combating climate change. We also note that the benefits of greater free trade with the rest of the world will not compensate for the damage to the Welsh economy from more limited access to the EU market.

More information on the Welsh Government trade policy priorities can be found in the following documents:

Written Statement: Trade Negotiations with Japan, Australia and New Zealand
18 June 2020 Cabinet statement International and EU

Written Statement: The UK's approach to trade negotiations with the US
4 March 2020 Cabinet statement International and EU

Welsh Government’s analysis of the UK government’s negotiating mandate for the Future Relationship with the EU
28 February 2020 Cabinet statement International and EU

The future UK/EU relationship: negotiating priorities for Wales
20 January 2020 Policy and strategy

Research, policy papers and background