The International Trade Council (ITC) welcomes the start of post-Brexit trade talks between the United Kingdom and Japan, which are set to begin on Tuesday. The negotiations aim to reach agreement on a new trade deal to replace the current agreement Britain has with Japan through the European Union.
Without a new deal by 1 January 2021, the UK and Japan will default to World Trade Organization trading terms, which would mean tariffs and obstacles to commerce between the UK and its fourth-largest non-EU trading partner.
"We are pleased to see the UK starting its free trade negotiations with Japan, one of the largest economies in the world," said the ITC's Director General. "This agreement will provide more opportunities for businesses and individuals across every region and nation of the UK and help boost our economies following the unprecedented economic challenges posed by coronavirus."
The ITC acknowledges that after decades of sharing its trade policy with the European Union, Britain is now embarking on free trade negotiations with countries around the world. The UK hopes that a free trade agreement with Japan will help it to eventually join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement that stretches from Australia to Chile, which would significantly improve access for UK businesses to markets across the Asia-Pacific region.
The ITC urges both countries to work together to reduce trade barriers and ensure a level playing field for all. The ITC also calls on businesses to adapt to the changing landscape by embracing digital technologies and diversifying their supply chains.