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Trade Secretary and Colleagues Champion Free and Fair Trade at WTO Conference

UK Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, has joined her international counterparts from across the world at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi. 

The conference, which will see over 150 of the world’s trade ministers coming together to discuss barriers to global trade, will be used as a platform for UK.


ministers to negotiate continued ‘free and fair trade’ including tariff-free digital trade. In particular, UK representatives aim to protect British business from costly trade barriers by fighting to extend the e-commerce moratorium, which avoids taxes on a variety of online transactions, helping to restore the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism and calling for an end to subsidies for fishing fleets that catch an unsustainable number of fish.  


According to the Department for Business and Trade, Badenoch and her colleague, Trade Policy Minister, Greg Hands, will also use the event to progress talks with Gulf ministers on a UK-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal, following the conclusion of the sixth round of talks earlier this month.  


The government also confirmed that UK delegates will meet with ministers from CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) member states whilst in Abu Dhabi. Though the Department didn’t indicate what the delegates would discuss, the UK’s place in the bloc was called into question last week by members of the Business and Trade Committee, who argue that ‘controversial aspects’ of the deal and a ‘lack of clarity over the benefits’ mean that membership should be put to parliamentary debate and subsequent vote. 


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