Liz Truss says trade deal with Australia will be extraordinarily good for Mr Kipling’s cakes, trains and cars

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Britain’s forthcoming trade deal with Australia will give a huge boost to the UK’s food and drink, automotive and rail industries by boosting tariff-free trade Down Under, Liz Truss said today.

The trade secretary says the post-Brexit deal soon to be struck with Canberra will help sell everything from popular cake brands such as Mr Kipling to high-tech British-made cars and trains.

The government is seeking to eliminate or substantially reduce tariffs on UK imports to Australia, which are currently as high as 20 percent for some foodstuffs such as cheese.

But it’s not just small consumer products that are being targeted. The UK wants to abolish tariffs on trains and train components to gain a larger share of sales of rolling stock for use on Australia’s 22,400 mile track.

“From our world-renowned food and beverage industry to our car and train manufacturers, we are pushing for tariffs to be cut on iconic UK exports,” said Ms Truss.

“We know that export-led jobs tend to be more productive and better paid, supporting jobs across the country, helping us to better recover from the pandemic.

“A gold standard deal with our allies Australia, now in sight, would mark the next generation of trade deals and bring major benefits to people and businesses across the UK.”

It came when Ms Truss signed a trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, cutting tariffs of up to 277 percent on cheese exported from the UK.

The trade secretary says the post-Brexit deal soon to be struck with Canberra will help sell everything from popular cake brands such as Mr Kipling to high-tech British-made cars and trains.

The trade secretary says the post-Brexit deal soon to be struck with Canberra will help sell everything from popular cake brands such as Mr Kipling to high-tech British-made cars and trains.

The trade secretary says the post-Brexit deal soon to be struck with Canberra will help sell everything from popular cake brands such as Mr Kipling to high-tech British-made cars and trains.

Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes, both made by Premier Foods in the UK, are currently the two best-selling cakes in Australia

Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes, both made by Premier Foods in the UK, are currently the two best-selling cakes in Australia

Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes, both made by Premier Foods in the UK, are currently the two best-selling cakes in Australia

Ms. Truss and the nations agreed in principle on the deal today, saying it was the first to include dedicated chapters on digital commerce and small businesses.

Exports to the three countries can be done using digital records, contracts and signatures, according to the Department for International Trade.

And it said the agreement significantly cuts tariffs to 277 percent for exporters to Norway of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Traditional Welsh Caerphilly and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.

There are also tariff reductions and quotas on pork, poultry and other goods, and British wines and spirits, including Scotch Whisky, will now also be recognized in Norway and Iceland.

While import tariffs on shrimp, prawn and haddock are reduced, costs for UK fish processing will fall and some 18,000 jobs in that sector will be supported in Scotland, East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Sources close to the trade secretary suggested she would celebrate tonight with fish and chips.

The Norwegian government said the deal was one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements the country has ever signed, but it also acknowledged that it was not comparable to previous agreements when the UK was still in the EU.

Ms Truss previously had to defend the Australian deal she is negotiating against claims that British farmers will be undermined by cheap foreign imports.

It led to a cabinet dispute with Environment Minister and farmer George Eustice.

The trade secretary had guaranteed that hormone-injected beef will remain banned under the terms of the UK’s new deal with Australia, stressing that she is “completely confident” that British farmers can still compete.

She claimed the Canberra deal will be a “general opportunity” for British agriculture as it “will open the doors” to more markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Today, she outlined some of the other sectors of the economy that she believes will benefit.

The UK wants to abolish tariffs on trains and train components to gain a larger share of sales of rolling stock for use on Australia's 22,400 mile track.

The UK wants to abolish tariffs on trains and train components to gain a larger share of sales of rolling stock for use on Australia's 22,400 mile track.

The UK wants to abolish tariffs on trains and train components to gain a larger share of sales of rolling stock for use on Australia’s 22,400 mile track.

They include chocolate and cake producers, cheese exporters, British gin distillers, rail and car manufacturers and clothing companies.

The UK was Australia’s fifth largest trading partner in 2019, with 15,400 British companies employing 3.5 million people and exporting £4.1 billion worth of goods.

Last year total trade between the UK and Australia was worth £13.9 billion, with UK exports of goods and services worth £9.8 billion.

The UK’s biggest good export to Australia in 2020 was medicinal and pharmaceuticals

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: ‘As Australia is an important market for UK rail operators, any cuts in fares and other barriers to trade would be a very welcome step.

“It means our country’s rail suppliers can sell even more of their world-renowned products to improve Australia’s rail system and enable them to support a green, sustainable and job-creating recovery in both the UK and Australia.”

And Richard Martin, chief customer officer at Premier Foods, added: ‘British-made Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes have quickly become the No. 1 and 2 cake brands respectively in the Australian market and are bought by 20 per cent of Australian households.

“A cut in rates would support the future growth of these brands and facilitate opportunities for UK food and drink.”

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