Overview of the Bill
1 The Trade Bill provides key measures that are required as the UK Government develops its trade policy for the UK now it has left the European Union (EU). These measures include:
● A power to ensure that the UK can implement procurement obligations that will arise from the UK acceding to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in its own right and not as a member state of the EU. The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework. It mutually opens government procurement markets and seeks to address trade barriers among its parties. This power will allow the Government and devolved authorities to use the negative resolution procedure to implement changes to domestic law which will be necessary for the UK to meet and enforce obligations arising from its independent membership of the GPA.
● A power to assist with the implementation of UK trade agreements with partner countries with which the EU has existing trade agreements as at 31 January 2020. This power will allow the Government and devolved authorities to use the affirmative resolution procedure to implement changes to domestic law which will be necessary for the UK to meet obligations flowing from these agreements.
● Provisions establishing a new body, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), to deliver the new UK trade remedies framework, and to enable the TRA to provide advice, support and assistance to the Secretary of State in connection with the conduct of international disputes, other functions of the Secretary of State relating to trade and functions of the TRA. The TRA may also provide advice, support and assistance in relation to international trade and trade remedies to others as it considers appropriate.
● A power for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect information on behalf of the Government to confirm the number of exporters of goods and services there are in the UK, and to enable the Government to identify those exporters for trade promotion purposes.
● A power to establish a data sharing gateway between HMRC and other public and private bodies, so that those bodies, including the Department for International Trade, can discharge their public functions and access relevant data for research, monitoring and evaluation.