By Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper
LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom on Tuesday announced a new post-Brexit tariff regime to replace the European Union’s external tariff, maintaining a 10% tariff on cars but cutting levies on tens of billions of dollars of supply chain imports.
After decades outsourcing its trade policy to the European Union, Britain is embarking on negotiating free trade agreements with countries around the world, and earlier this month launched formal negotiations with the United States.
The government aims to have trade deals in place covering 80% of British trade within three years, but the new tariff regime will apply to countries with which it has no agreement.
The British government said the new regime, known as UK Global Tariff (UKGT), would be simpler and cheaper than the EU’s Common External Tariff (EU CET). It will remove all tariffs below 2% and simplify the structure of remaining tariffs.
“Our new Global Tariff will benefit UK consumers and households by cutting red tape and reducing the cost of thousands of everyday products,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said.
Under the new regime tariffs would be eliminated on a wide range of products: 60% of trade will come into the UK tariff free on WTO terms or through existing preferential access from January 2021, the government said.
The UK will maintain tariffs on a number of products backing UK industries such as agriculture, automotive and fishing. It will remove tariffs on 30 billion pounds ($37 billion)worth of imports entering UK supply chains.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper, writing by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge)