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Economy Economy

Create a network of nine new Trade Commissioners in overseas posts

Last updated: 10:52am 9 August 2019

We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.15

Our verdict

A Trade Commissioner is someone in the government who promotes trade and business deals for their home country. As the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox argued in June 2019, one of the main concerns for Britain coming out of Brexit is trade. More specifically, who will Britain be trading with and how. The promise to create a network of Trade Commissioners then, as this policy is promising, is aimed at addressing the future of international trade for the UK.

The first evidence for this policy comes on February 5th 2018, when Mr. Liam Fox spoke to the role of this new network, describing the work which the Trade Commissioners will be conducting, as well as the expected impact for the economy. During this speech he also announced two members to be appointed as the commissioners for North American and South Asia.

By July 6th 2018, Andrew Mitchell was announced as the Trade Commissioner for Europe, making him the 9th and final member to be appointed to the now fully formed Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners (aka HMTC) network. The HMTC now covers Africa, Asia-Pacific, China, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and South Asia.

As this policy was aimed at creating a network of HMTCs the evidence is clear. There have been nine positions filled aimed at overseas markets. Additionally, a meeting was held this past May, where all the leaders came together to discuss a post-Brexit strategy, showing that they are working on new trade initiatives. With this, we can say that this policy is ‘done’.

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