The proposed changes, which were announced in a statement by the secretary of state for the Department for Business and trade (DBT), include the TRA taking on responsibility for investigating bilateral safeguard cases as part of free trade agreements. The government would also have ministerial powers to request the TRA to provide alternative options to its main recommendations, override the TRA’s Economic Interest Test on public interest grounds, ask the TRA to re-evaluate a recommendation, and take a different decision to that recommended by the TRA, said the public body in a press release.
The UK government has proposed changes to the country’s trade remedies regime that would give it more power to decide the outcome of trade remedies investigations. The TRA would still have independent investigatory functions, but the government would have ministerial powers. The changes are set to be introduced in the Finance Bill this month.
“I welcome the fact that this government review has recognised the value the TRA holds as an independent body, providing impartial, evidence-led recommendations. The announcement also extends the TRA’s remit to include bilateral safeguards cases under the UK’s growing number of free trade agreements. We look forward to working closely with the Department for Business and Trade to ensure our current and future users of trade remedies understand the changes so they can be implemented smoothly,” said TRA chair Simon Walker.
The UK government has responsibility for setting trade remedies policy, within the international rules established by the World Trade Organization. The TRA operates the UK’s trade remedies regime within this framework.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)