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THE BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE

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New UK Board of Trade Holds First Meeting

The reconstituted Board held talks to agree principles and agree a future programme of work

Published on October 20, 2020

Board of Trade This picture depicts the Board of Trade in the early 1800s, drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, appearing in the book Microcosms of London.

The UK's reconstituted Board of Trade met for the first time yesterday, October 19, to begin work on developing the UK's approach to international trade going forward.

The meeting, chaired by the President of the Board of Trade (a position now held by the Secretary of State for International Trade, currently Liz Truss MP), was designed as an introduction to the job that the Board has been allocated responsibility for. These responsibilities include advising the government on trade policy, working with businesses and enterprise to help them make the most of trade opportunities, generating reports on the state of the UK's international trade sector, and promoting the benefits of free trade.

Liz Truss, discussing the first meeting, said that "This is a critical moment for the UK and our trading relationships with the rest of the world. Our re-emergence as an independent trading nation is an enormous opportunity, but it also comes at a time of rising protectionism amidst the challenges posed by coronavirus." Ms Truss went on to say that "The revamped Board of Trade will play a critical role in helping us navigate and shape the new global trading environment. Just as great British reformers helped drive trade and prosperity in the nineteenth century, we want the new Board of Trade to become the Cobden, Peel and Bright of the twenty first century and push new frontiers in areas like digital trade and the green economy, and ultimately help Britain unleash its full potential post-Brexit."

As part of its remit, the Board will begin by preparing a series of reports covering key issues on international trade in the UK. The reports, which will be published quarterly from 2021 onwards, address topics including "The role of trade in levelling-up Britain", "Combatting digital and data protectionism", "How trade can deliver an industrial revival", "Reform of the WTO and the global trading system", "Commonwealth trade" and "How trade can help deliver the government’s green objectives".

Current advisers of the board include:

• The Secretary of State for Scotland;
• The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland;
• The Secretary of State for Wales;
• The Minister for Trade Policy;
• The Minister for Investment;
• The Minister for Exports;
• The Minister for International Trade;
• The Hon Tony Abbott;
• Karen Betts;
• Anne Boden MBE;
• Daniel Hannan;
• Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt;
• Emma Howard Boyd;
• Michael Liebreich;
• The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell;
• Dr Linda Yueh;

Further details on the Board of Trade can be found at www.gov.uk/government/groups/board-of-trade

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