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UK “close” to signing free trade deal with Japan

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Credit: Andrew Parsons / No. 10 Downing Street. Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

30 July 2020 | UK NEWS

The UK is close to signing a trade deal with Japan and is also “a step closer” to signing a trade deal with New Zealand.

The deal with Japan could be secured within weeks, despite the negotiations beginning only six weeks ago on 8 June. The negotiations, according to a Government source, have reached a breakthrough point, with talks at an “advanced stage”.

The arrangements would, if completed, be implemented when the UK leaves the European Union and completes the course of the transition period on 1 January 2021.

The trade deal will be based on an extension of the EU-Japan trade deal agreed last year. However, it will reportedly include further reductions in tariffs on goods moving between Japan and the UK. The deal also may include increased access to the Japanese markets.

City A.M. had said in May that a deal could offer a £383m boost to London’s economy every year.

The Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, has also announced that the UK has completed the first round of trade talks with New Zealand.

Ms Truss said with regard to the New Zealand talks: “We are a step closer to a comprehensive trade deal with a like-minded friend and ally.

“The first round of talks were positive and productive, with a shared aim to be particularly ambitious in areas including digital trade and sustainability.

“A deal with New Zealand will strengthen the global consensus for free and fair trade at a time of increased protectionism, and create more opportunities for UK businesses as we recover from the economic impact of Coronavirus.”

The news comes amid ongoing trade negotiations with the EU, following the UK’s departure from its Single Market and Customs Union.

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