Last reviewed 4 July 2022

In a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has announced plans to unlock export opportunities worth more than £20 billion by resolving around 100 priority trade barriers.

As part of the Government’s new drive to demolish bureaucratic barriers to international trade, she has drawn up a hit list of around 100 priority issues around the world currently blocking British trade, which are being targeted for resolution by teams of specialists in the Department for International Trade (DIT).

These range from restrictions on UK-qualified lawyers from operating in Japan, to rules that delay British medical devices from entering South Africa, to restrictions on meat exports to countries in Asia.

“We know that businesses who export pay higher wages and are more productive than businesses who do not, but too often, complex trade rules and practical obstacles prevent them selling overseas,” Ms Trevelyan said. “This bonfire of the barriers will grow our economy by allowing our brilliant businesses to satisfy the enormous global appetite for their goods and services.”

She highlighted that the DIT had already supported the resolution of around 400 barriers, across more than 70 countries, in the last two years.

These included working with Chinese authorities to remove animal testing requirements for many beauty products in China, opening up a market worth £500 million and helping brands such as Unilever’s cruelty-free REN brand to import into China for the first time.

Figures on the number of barriers resolved have been published in the Official Statistics series Market Access Barrier Statistics available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/market-access-barrier-statistics-financial-year-2021-to-2022.