Skip to main content

Free Trade Agreements: Effect on Blyth Valley

Volume 677: debated on Thursday 18 June 2020

What assessment she has made of the potential effect of future free trade agreements on the economy in Blyth Valley. (903428)

In 2018, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear exported goods worth £496 million to the US, £130 million to Japan, £24 million to New Zealand and £216 million to Australia. Against a backdrop of rising trade barriers, our FTAs will secure and protect existing trade, and, according to our analysis, FTAs with the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand will go further and bring additional export opportunities to every part of the country, including Blyth Valley.

In Blyth Valley, we have many successful companies that trade globally. As we move closer to the deadline of 31 December 2020, will my hon. Friend please advise the House what steps the Department has taken to help companies such as Dräger Safety and Tharsus in Blyth, and Miller engineering and Renolit in Cramlington—to name just a few—so that they can take advantage of free trade agreements?

My team is developing a new export strategy, which will align DIT support for exporting businesses, such as the ones my hon. Friend mentions, with our FTA and market access work. In February, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited Tharsus and the Port of Blyth, and they emphasised to her how important data and digital chapters were for them. Blyth Valley companies will be supported by ambitious FTAs, an enhanced network of international trade advisers in the northern powerhouse and teams in 108 countries around the world.