Liz does it again! Truss paves way for new mega-deal worth £9billion

Liz Truss says ‘we need to diversify our trade’

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The Foreign Secretary arrived in Thailand today as part of her tour of countries beyond Europe aimed at finding new economic ties for Britain. She met with the Thai Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to discuss agreements on defence, education and, most crucially, trade.

Celebrating the visit on Twitter, Ms Truss said talks had focussed on “increasing investment flows” between the two countries.

The UK and Thailand currently have a two-way trade of around £4.7 billion.

More than 5,000 UK companies export to Thailand.

Ms Truss hopes this relationship will improve further through the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The CPTPP is a free trade agreement, without the free movement of people, currently between 11 countries.

Ms Truss kick-started the process of joining the deal when she was the International Trade Secretary.

She appears to be making more progress now as Foreign Secretary, arguing that it will “help us build back a better global trading system”.

CPTPP had a joint GDP of £9trillion in 2019.

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Speaking of her visit to Thailand, Ms Truss said: “We want to step up our relationship with Thailand and take it to the next level in areas including tech, trade and investment.

“We need a deeper relationship that reflects Thailand’s growing economy and positions Britain at the heart of the fastest-growing parts of the world.”

Ms Truss’s visit has led to yet more calls for the Foreign Secretary to one day become Boris Johnson’s replacement in the top job.

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Mark non-EU salt+pepper wrote on Twitter: “Future PM right there.”

But some have criticised the striking of new trade deals which will ultimately see all tariffs removed from other countries’ exports of goods.

Edwin Poots, Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, said the trade deal struck with CPTPP member country New Zealand poses a “very serious threat” to UK farmers.

He argued that stripping tariffs off foreign exports of meat and dairy products will lead to some UK producers being out-competed.

Similar concerns were raised by the trade deal struck between the UK and Australia – also in CPTPP – earlier this year.

Alongside formal talks in Thailand, Ms Truss visited the Triumph Motorcycle factory and opened the British Embassy in Bangkok.

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