Last reviewed 7 April 2021

Trade remedies protect domestic industry against unfair and injurious trade practices by other countries, or unexpected surges in imports.

For many years, the body responsible for monitoring possible problems and taking the necessary action to protect firms in the UK and elsewhere in the Union was the European Commission.

However, now the UK is no longer a Member State, the Government has been developing the UK’s own trade remedies policy.

Through the Trade Bill, it is seeking to establish the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), a new independent body to investigate trade remedies cases. As the Trade Bill is still going through Parliament, functions of the TRA are currently being undertaken by the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) within the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The International Trade Committee has been looking into what this change will mean for UK businesses and has now published its report, “UK trade remedies policy”, which can be found at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmintrade/701/70102.htm.

This looks at the overall structure of the UK trade remedies policy, as well as the Government’s progress in setting up the new TRA, arrangements for transitioning trade remedies from the EU to the UK and the process for conducting new trade defence investigations.

Committee Chairman Angus Brendan MacNeil said: “Although there has been progress in this area, a lot remains to be seen in terms of how the UK’s trade remedy policy will operate. We heard some concerns that, under the UK regime, it could be more difficult to secure trade remedies than was the case under the EU regime.”

He also highlighted issues around staffing noting that there has so far been a high turnover of staff working on trade remedies, and the staffing level is around 25% lower than required.