Liz Truss bemoans ‘defensive’ trade stance caused by EU membership

Liz Truss bemoans ‘defensive’ trade stance caused by EU membership

Some companies and government workers remain “on the defensive” on trade, with the UK having spent nearly 50 years in the European Union, the Secretary for International Trade said.

In a speech on Tuesday, Liz Truss explained how the UK’s post-Brexit business strategy will increasingly be to attempt to secure business with eastern growth markets in India and elsewhere.

“In order to get these opportunities, we have to let go of some of our outdated assumptions and attitudes,” she added.

When asked to expand on her comment afterwards, Ms Truss said: ‘We have been in the EU for 50 years and it is only natural that, whether they are companies, people employed by the government and others, there are certain ideas that have been shared and promulgated and are still present in certain circles.

“What I want to do is go from the defensive mindset that says ‘what are we losing’ to the offensive mindset that says ‘this is what we can win’.

“Sometimes there can be a lack of self-confidence. “

Speaking to the Policy Exchange think tank, the International Trade Secretary said Britain had a choice between seizing opportunities in growing markets or staying “in our comfort zone”.

Ms Truss said “protectionism” would not protect living standards and that trade was needed to curb rising inflation “through the power of economic openness”.

When asked where the government draws the line between trade and human rights in relation to China, she said the country is “a very important trading partner”.

But the cabinet minister said trade with China must be “reliable, stable and in accordance with international rules.”

“I explained how important it is that the trade we do underpin our values ​​of free enterprise and democracy,” added Truss.

The Department of International Trade’s International Trade Outlook report, released on Tuesday, found that “the global economic center of gravity is moving away from Europe” and heading towards the Indo-Pacific.

By 2030, three of the world’s four largest economies will be in the Indo-Pacific region, the report predicts, with the region expected to account for 56% of global GDP growth and 44% of global demand growth. import over the next 30 years. years.

At the same time, global demand for UK digital and financial services is expected to double over the next decade, with demand for digital services expected to increase by 117%, the department said.

Ms Truss said: “We are building a global network of next-generation trade agreements that are advanced in services and digital trade, and forging closer economic ties with markets in East Asia and Asia. -Peaceful.”

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