Trade Remedies Authority publishes Corporate and Business Plan 2023-2026

The Trade Remedies Authority today published its consolidated Corporate and Business Plan 2023-2026. This ambitious plan sets out the TRA’s corporate and business planning priorities for the next three years under its four strategic goals of Cases, People, Digital and Reputation and details how the TRA plans to deliver its mission of defending UK economic interests against unfair international trade practices.

A far-reaching work programme

By March 2025, the TRA expects to have completed its review of all 43 trade remedy measures transitioned from the EU. From this point, the TRA will act directly in response to requests from UK industries. Developments in the global economy, such as the spread in use of subsides for strategic industries, could drive an increasing need for trade remedies in the future. To help ensure that every British industry that could need this support is aware of the UK’s trade remedies regime, the TRA will continue to invest in its Pre-Application Office, which offers free confidential advice to support businesses interested in making an application. The TRA has recently launched an online hub to provide additional guidance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) navigating what trade remedies could mean for them. The TRA has also introduced a biennial survey of stakeholder views to help ensure we’re focusing on what matters to businesses and other key stakeholders.

Expanded analysis of the TRA’s operating environment and risk landscape

The plan sets out an ambitious programme of 20 corporate and business planning priorities for the next three years, aligned to the TRA’s strategic goals – this includes a programme to monitor and evaluate the impact of the recommendations the TRA makes to the Government, a digital vision roadmap and how the organisation plans to expand engagement with peer trade remedies bodies worldwide. The plan also expands its analysis of the TRA’s external operating environment, which in turn informs its risk landscape and reflects the rapid pace of both domestic and global change. And to ensure that stakeholders can hold the TRA to account on the deliverables that matter most, the plan sets out a strengthened set of high-level Key Performance Indicators for each of the TRA’s strategic goals.

TRA Chair Simon Walker explains:

The Trade Remedies Authority plays a critical role in the government’s vision of putting trade at the heart of global Britain. This plan sets out how, over the coming years, we will build on and deploy the independent expertise needed to provide robust advice and recommendations to government in support of the UK’s strategy for prosperity and economic growth.

The plan includes links to further detailed information about the TRA and its schedule of cases. It will be reviewed, updated and rolled forward each year to make sure it takes account of changes in operating environment, supports the organisation in being agile and flexible as a business, and remains fit for purpose. The plan will be followed in July 2023 by the TRA’s first Annual Report & Accounts.

Background information

  • As an independent body operating at arm’s length from the Department for Business & Trade, the TRA is guided in its work by its principles of proportionality, impartiality, transparency and efficiency.
  • The TRA welcomes applications for trade remedies investigations from any business operating in the UK. Read our online guidance to find out more about how to apply and what information to provide.

Link: Trade Remedies Authority publishes Corporate and Business Plan 2023-2026
Source: Assent Information Services

UK’s thriving tech sector promoted to American entrepreneurs and investors

  • New campaign launched in US – with billboards across Silicon Valley – to encourage tech experts to invest in the UK and help deliver on priority to grow the economy
  • Campaign promotes that UK is now the third country in the world to have a trillion dollar tech sector
  • Short film narrated by Stephen Fry highlights the UK’s tech success

In 2022, the UK became only the third country in the world to have its tech sector valued at one trillion dollars, making it a tech superpower alongside the US and China.

To date, 162 ‘tech Unicorns’ – private start-ups which are valued at more than $1bn – have been started in the UK, more than the total number in Germany, France and Sweden combined.

Yet government research suggests that many of Silicon Valley’s top tech entrepreneurs and investors are still not aware of the UK’s world-leading strengths in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), fintech and medical technology.

GREAT, the government flagship marketing programme, has taken steps to address this by launching its ‘Unicorn Kingdom’ campaign, which promotes the UK as a place with all the right ingredients to breed new tech unicorns and aims to drive international investment, grow the economy and create jobs across the UK.

The campaign launched with billboards in San Francisco promoting the UK sector’s scale ($1trillion), agile regulation and world-class talent. The campaign also includes targeted LinkedIn and digital display ads and a content partnership with TechCrunch, with promotional videos narrated by Stephen Fry.

The campaign is being supported by multiple UK tech unicorns including Darktrace, Deepmind, Revolut, and Matillion – and is the latest in a number of recent actions from the government which demonstrates its strong support for UK tech.

This includes the establishment of the new Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, the launch of  the International Tech Strategy, the upcoming AI Whitepaper and the Government’s commitment to provide £20 billion of funding to research and development by 2024-25 – the highest ever level of public support for UK researchers and innovators.

The next stage of the campaign will see leaders from the US tech sector invited to the UK for London Tech week, to see the benefits of working in the UK first-hand.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:

The UK has all the right ingredients for tech companies to thrive. But we’ll keep working hard to foster the right conditions for the tech sector, so that it can continue to deliver on my priority to grow the economy and create jobs right across the UK.

Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, said:

The UK tech sector is a wonderful success story. Only three countries in the world are in the trillion-dollar tech club – and we’re one of them. We’re home to some of the brightest minds and best universities, and our doors are open to any tech entrepreneur who wants to start the next Deepmind or Deliveroo.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said:

The UK has one of the top tech sectors in the world with a valuation of more than a trillion dollars. It’s diverse, resilient, and continues to grow at a rapid pace with the most venture capital investment in Europe. The goal of this campaign is to attract as much collaboration and investment as we can from Silicon Valley.

The formation of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, shows Investors and entrepreneurs that the UK is more dedicated than ever to forming a tech sector that is pro-innovation, pro-talent and pro-growth. Our commitment for R&D spending to be £20 billion a year by 2024 drives forward the government’s ambitions for the UK to be a science and tech superpower.

As well as the promotional campaign, business leaders from across Silicon Valley were invited to a special reception to promote the UK tech sector in San Francisco.

At the event, they met the leaders of tech companies from across the UK as well as senior government officials, who explained to them the UK’s place at the centre of the tech world and the benefits of investing in the country.

Matthew Scullion, CEO and founder of Manchester-based tech company, Matillion, said:  

In the UK, we really have all the ingredients required for building consequential companies. We have brilliant grassroots engineering skills from our very strong university ecosystem. We have skills, we have capital, and we have a great environment for starting and building businesses.

Further activities will also be carried out in the UK during London Tech Week in June, when leaders from the tech sector in America will be invited to the country to see the benefits of working in the UK.

Link: UK’s thriving tech sector promoted to American entrepreneurs and investors
Source: Assent Information Services

Boost for Welsh businesses as UK strikes deal to join major free trade bloc in Indo-Pacific

  • UK announces deal to join CPTPP – a major trade bloc in the Indo-Pacific which will have a total GDP of £11 trillion once the UK joins
  • More than 450 businesses in Wales exported to CPTPP countries in 2021 and could benefit after today’s announcement
  • Joining the Trans-Pacific partnership, which contains some of the world’s fastest growing economies, gives Welsh companies, start-ups and farmers access to the world’s emerging middle class

The Welsh economy is expected to benefit after the UK Government today (31 March) announced the conclusion of trade talks with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a vast free trade area spanning the Indo-Pacific.

The bloc is home to over 500 million people and will have a total GDP of £11 trillion once the UK joins. Joining the bloc could boost the Welsh economy by improving businesses’ access to some of the world’s largest markets.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

We are at our heart an open and free-trading nation, and this deal demonstrates the real economic benefits of our post-Brexit freedoms. As part of CPTPP, the UK is now in a prime position in the global economy to seize opportunities for new jobs, growth and innovation.

Joining the CPTPP trade bloc puts the UK at the centre of a dynamic and growing group of Pacific economies, as the first new nation and first European country to join. British businesses will now enjoy unparalleled access to markets from Europe to the south Pacific.

There are numerous opportunities for Welsh businesses to benefit from joining CPTPP, with more than 450 businesses in Wales exporting over £900m worth of goods to CPTPP countries in 2021.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

This is an important moment for the UK. Our accession to CPTPP sends a powerful signal that the UK is open for business and using our post-Brexit freedoms to reach out to new markets around the world and grow our economy.

Joining CPTPP will support jobs and create opportunities for companies of all sizes and in all parts of the UK. It is also about giving Welsh businesses improved access to the countries that will be gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific region which is projected to make up the majority of global growth in the future.

Joining the trade bloc will mean more than 99 percent of UK goods exports to CPTPP members will be eligible for zero tariffs. In the long run, it could boost the UK economy by £1.8 billion and lead to a £1.7 billion increase in UK exports to CPTPP countries as result of the reduction of barriers across goods and services according to the Government’s published scoping assessment. Key Welsh exports such as machinery and power generators could benefit from the removal of tariffs as a result of the agreement.

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said:

This trade deal is great news for Welsh business. CPTPP countries are already an important sector in the Welsh export market. Over 450 companies, including Halen Môn and Fifth Wheel, will benefit from less red tape and better opportunities. These growing markets will help businesses in Wales increase export opportunities and boost the global appetite for Welsh goods and services.

Fifth Wheel Company are a multi-award winning business specialising in the design and manufacturing of luxury tourers. All of their vehicles are assembled in-house at their factory in Rhuallt in North Wales, and they’re excited about the exporting opportunities that will be created by the UK joining CPTPP.

Gethin Whiteley at Fifth Wheel, commented:

We’ve been exporting our luxury caravans to Australia and New Zealand customers for the last five years. The leisure and camping market within these countries is growing, and our products offer the size and space of a motorhome and the practicality of a car and caravan so are perfectly suited to explore.

We have already embarked on a trade mission to strengthen our position in these markets, and we believe that joining CPTPP, along with the bilateral deals, will further assist us in our search to increase exports of our products to markets of growing importance.

Wales-based company Halen Môn produce ANGLESEY Sea Salt, which can be found in over 100 of the UK’s best delicatessens, as well as in retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Harvey Nichols.

They already export to more than 22 countries across the globe, including several CPTPP members, and are looking forward to exploring the further exporting potential created by the UK’s accession to the trading bloc.

Alison Lea-Wilson at Halen Môn said:

Anything the UK government can do to help realise the huge potential of trading with CPTPP member states is to be welcomed. We already export to Japan and Singapore and see opportunities in Australia too.

We are delighted to be supplying a Japanese bakery ingredients company with our innovative oak smoked water. There is already a great relationship between Wales and Japan forged in part by rugby, seaweed and even leeks, and we look forward to building on it.

Membership is a gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific region, which has 60% of the world’s population and is set to account for the majority (54%) of global economic growth and around half of the world’s billion middle-class consumers in the decades ahead.

As a member of CPTPP, the UK will help influence and shape global rules for industries of the future like digital, data and services, and secure our place as a global leader in a network of countries committed to free trade.

The UK and CPTPP members will now take the final steps required for the UK to formally sign in 2023.

Link: Boost for Welsh businesses as UK strikes deal to join major free trade bloc in Indo-Pacific
Source: Assent Information Services

Green growth for Wales as UK government announces multi billion pound investment to boost UK energy independence

New jobs and investment are set to come to Wales as the UK Government today unveils ambitious plans to scale up affordable, clean, homegrown power and build thriving green industries in Britain.

After decades of reliance on importing expensive, foreign fossil fuels, the Government is delivering a radical shift in our energy system towards cleaner, more affordable energy sources to power more of Britain from Britain.

New green technologies, set to be developed and deployed here in the Wales including carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, will spearhead the government’s new Energy Security Plan.

As part of this, Grant Shapps is announcing £160 million of new funding for pilot projects to build the port infrastructure needed to support further floating offshore wind, through the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme. This scheme will support investment in the infrastructure needed to meet the UK’s ambition of up to 5GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, supported by a substantial pipeline of potential projects in the Celtic sea.

Today, the UK Government confirmed Hanson Padeswood Cement Works carbon capture and storage project – based in the North Wales region – as one of eight projects to be taken forward to negotiations to form the basis of the UK’s new CCUS clusters.

This announcement follows the confirmation in the Spring Budget of £20 billion for CCUS, future-proofing jobs in the industrial heartlands, including the North Sea, contributing to a half a million new green jobs set to be created and supported across the country.

CCUS is a key pillar to the UK’s path to net zero – recognised by the independent Committee on Climate Change as a necessity – and the country’s geography means it has capacity to permanently store carbon emissions taken from our air deep underground and at sea.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

Thanks to our unique geography and strong expertise in clean technology, the UK is well placed to create thriving new industries in carbon capture, hydrogen and floating offshore wind across the country.

By investing in new ways to power Britain from Britain, we will not only strengthen our long-term energy security, but also deliver on our promise to grow the economy with well-paid jobs and opportunities for businesses to export their expertise around the world.

Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart said:

Wales will be at the heart of our plans to power up Britain, as we support its development of new home-grown technologies of the future.

Today’s announcement will create opportunities for welsh businesses to export their expertise around the world and set the standard for a clean, secure and prosperous future.

Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said:

The UK Government’s Energy Security plan is ambitious and contains fantastic news for the whole of Wales. We know that there is huge potential in the Celtic Sea for floating offshore wind and we have the best sites for new nuclear developments.

The UK Government is supporting plans for the Celtic Sea to deliver enough clean, secure electricity for 4 million homes by 2035. Today we’ve announced £160m of government funding to kickstart investment in building the infrastructure in ports to allow them to deliver this innovative source of renewable energy.

The establishment of Great British Nuclear will support our ambition to ramp up nuclear capacity in the UK to a quarter of our energy demand by 2050. I am eager to see nuclear energy brought back to Wales and the development of a floating offshore wind industry, creating jobs, spreading growth and prosperity and securing our energy supply.

The UK Government has also set an ambition for 10GW of hydrogen production by 2030 – which could generate enough clean electricity to power all of London for a year.

Wales will be central to these plans, where one of the first successful applicants to the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund will be located. Fifteen projects will be awarded grant funding of £37.9m to support the development and deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production plants. Hydrogen will play an important role in helping intensive industries such as chemicals, steel and cement convert to using clean energy.

The successful project is Statkraft’s Trecwn Green Hydrogen Valley project. It plans to build a 15MW electrolyser system to produce green hydrogen, using the region’s excellent wind and solar resources to produce a sustainable fuel for transport and other industrial application.

Alongside this, three companies based in Wales have been shortlisted to proceed to the next stage of the first electrolytic hydrogen Allocation round (HAR1).

These are:

  • RES and Octopus Green Hydrogen
  • Marubeni Europower
  • H2 energy and Trafigura

Today’s plans will help deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy across Wales, supporting new green jobs, creating a strategic advantage in new clean industries, and generating opportunities for Welsh businesses to export their expertise around the world.

Link: Green growth for Wales as UK government announces multi billion pound investment to boost UK energy independence
Source: Assent Information Services