Last reviewed 4 January 2021
To complete a year in which it has been working to roll-over dozens of trade deals from which the UK previously benefitted as a member of the EU, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced tariff-free trading arrangements with Turkey.
This latest agreement is seen as a major boost for UK automotive, manufacturing and steel industries and will support a trading partnership worth £18.6 billion in 2019.
The deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for the 7600 UK businesses that exported goods to Turkey in that year, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods and protecting vital UK-Turkey supply chains in the automotive and manufacturing sectors.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “It paves the way for a new, more ambitious deal with Turkey in the near future, and is part of our plan to put the UK at the centre of a network of modern agreements with dynamic economies.”
Both countries have committed to working towards a more ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) in the future, which will go further than the existing deal and will, Ms Truss said, be tailored to the UK economy.
This first stage supports UK importers of textiles, where the annual increase in estimated duties would have been around £102m under World Trade Organization (WTO) terms.
Tariffs applied to UK imports of washing machines and televisions will remain at 0%, compared to up to 2% and 14% respectively under WTO terms.
In addition, vital UK-Turkey supply chains will be protected for automotive manufacturers. For example, car parts are exported from the UK to Turkey in order to assemble the Ford Transit range of vehicles, a third of which are then exported back to the UK.
Andy Burwell, Director for International Trade and Investment at the CBI, said: “Turkey’s customs union with the EU made a trade deal with the UK complicated, but the pace at which the deal has been finalised following the negotiated EU deal shows the strength and depth of the relationship.”