Government brings together top business brains to support UK trade negotiations

Chase Distillery

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has launched 11 new trade advisory groups (TAGs), as part of a major new business engagement drive designed to support the UK’s trade negotiations.

As trade talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand intensify, the Trade Secretary is stepping up engagement with key industries across Britain, including farming, manufacturing and automotive.

Their advice will be used to help inform the government’s negotiating position and will help it secure new market access on products like ceramics, cars, steel and beef, and agreeing cutting-edge digital trade rules.

The new groups are comprised of businesses from all parts of Britain, including James Chase of Herefordshire Chase Distillery (his family launched and sold the successful Tyrells crisps brand), Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President of Airbus UK, based in Bristol, Nigel Toon – Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at GraphCore, Jim Wilkinson – Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Oxford Sciences Innovation, Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs Director at Newbury-based Vodafone and James Wroath, Chief Executive Officer at Chippenham-based Wincanton.

It also includes the appointment of  Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s chair, Andrew M. Smith, to the new Creative Industries TAG.

Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss to the new creative industries Trade Advisory Group, as part of a major new business engagement drive designed to support the UK’s ambitious trade negotiations. As trade talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand intensify, I will be fighting the corner for Bucks businesses.”

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss said: “This is about bringing business closer to the negotiating table and using their expertise to help secure the best possible deals that deliver jobs and growth across Britain. Talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand are entering their crucial latter stages, so it is only right that we step up engagement with vital industries to utilise their technical and strategic expertise.

“I want business in Britain to feel engaged and informed about the work we’re doing to build an independent trade policy and how it impacts them. As we recover from Coronavirus we want to strike deals that benefit every part of the country so we can build back better and deliver a fairer country for all.”