LONDON – Britain and Canada launched talks on a new free trade deal on Thursday, as Britain’s trade minister visited her Canadian counterpart to try to deepen ties already worth $25 billion.
Britain said the talks would aim to build on a trade continuity agreement with Canada, which rolled over EU trade arrangements before Britain left the bloc’s trading sphere at the end of 2020.
“There is huge potential to strengthen and grow trade between our two countries,” British trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said in a statement.
“We want a new deal for the 21st century — one that will boost our thriving services sector, promote higher standards of living and act as a beacon for others to follow in its world-leading commitments on climate change and women’s economic empowerment.”
The trade ministry said the relationship with Canada was worth 19 billion pounds ($25.06 billion) in 2020, and a new deal could help make it easier for the services sector to trade in Canada.
It also said Britain would aim to reduce administrative barriers which can prevent smaller businesses from accessing the preferential tariffs that are already in place.
Trevelyan is meeting her Canadian counterpart Mary Ng in Ottawa after earlier this week striking a deal with the United States to end a four-year dispute over U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs during a visit. ($1 = 0.7582 pounds)