The United States is our largest single country trading partner and an important ally. We have already made progress in the Airbus-Boeing dispute, getting tariffs removed on great British products such as machinery and whisky. I am now working closely with my US counterparts to tackle global issues on steel, aerospace and technology to make sure that trade is fair as well as free.
We are six months into Brexit and the sea of opportunity that the seafood producers of my Argyll and Bute constituency were promised has turned out to be swamp of bureaucracy. Alongside a mountain of paperwork and red tape, they all report falling prices, loss of markets, labour shortages and major transport and logistical problems. Six months into Brexit, they are facing an existential crisis. How has the Secretary of State’s Department allowed that to happen?
We have seen trade with the EU bounce back after some initial issues. In particular, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has offered support to seafood producers to ensure that they have what they need to be able to deal with those issues.
My hon. Friend is correct. The Australia deal is a fundamentally liberalising agreement that removes tariffs and supports millions of jobs. It will strengthen the bonds of friendship—I speak as the parliamentary president of the Conservative Friends of Australia—for example by championing youth mobility, which he referred to. The deal also paves the way for joining the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership and the growing middle-class markets of the Pacific rim. We are realising the vision of a global Britain that looks to one of the most dynamic trading areas in the world.
HSBC is an extremely important company and employer in this country. I do not have a problem with Ministers meeting HSBC, let us put that on the record. The hon. Gentleman will also be aware of the very strong action we have taken in relation to China and the measures announced by the Foreign Secretary in this House in January in relation to supply chains in Xinjiang and actions in Hong Kong, which had broad agreement across the House. We will continue to make vigorous representations in relation to China, and we are monitoring the situation very closely.
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Services are 80% of the UK economy. We are the world’s second largest exporter of services, and a huge number of those are digitally enabled. The digital economy agreement between the UK and Singapore will be a model for global digital trade rules, and I met Singapore Minister Alvin Tan just yesterday to discuss it. Singapore is a global leader in this area. We are looking forward to signing an excellent agreement with Singapore.
We are following developments on the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism closely. The UK has ambitious carbon pricing through our emissions trading scheme and carbon price support mechanism, and we expect the EU CBAM to take account of that in its implementation. The COP President-designate, my right hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Alok Sharma), has said that he does not anticipate carbon border adjustment mechanisms becoming an issue within the COP26 negotiations.
I congratulate my hon. Friend on her championing of her constituency and Cornwall’s farmers. We are opening markets, as we have discussed. We are activating farmers with our “Open Doors” campaign, and we are grateful for the support of the National Farmers Union and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. We have a mentoring scheme, which I was delighted to launch in the south-west, and we are leading trade missions such as “Spring into Japan”, to make sure that on a greater scale than ever before we are engaging more farmers’ produce with global markets, leading to jobs and prosperity in her constituency and beyond.
We have been absolutely categorical in our commitment on food standards and food safety standards. There will be no compromise on UK standards in relation to any trade agreement. That has been the case—[Interruption.] Our commitment is absolute. If the hon. Member were to take a look at all the trade agreements we have done with 67 countries—if she looked at the Australia trade deal agreement in principle and the Japan deal—she would see no diminution in our food safety and animal welfare standards so far.
I can absolutely give that commitment to the people of Delyn. The Government have been very clear that any trade deals must work for UK consumers and businesses, upholding our high regulatory standards. The Government, as I mentioned earlier, have manifesto commitments to no compromise on standards in animal welfare, food safety and the environment.
The Secretary of State had a successful visit to Israel herself in the last week of June, and she had productive discussions with her Israeli counterpart, focused on ambitions for upgrading our current trade relationship. As my hon. Friend suggests, I am very keen personally to strengthen our £5 billion trade relationship even further, and I look forward to taking these discussions forward to create further opportunities for British businesses in tech and beyond.
We will be responding in due course to the call for input on going further on a trade deal with Canada, and we are looking forward to that negotiation starting in the autumn. I would remind the hon. Member that there are no ISDS provisions in the UK-Australia deal, but I would also remind her that the UK has never lost an ISDS case. We do have ISDS provisions in quite a number of our existing agreements, and the UK has never lost any such case.
I thank my hon. Friend for his excellent question. I am tremendously proud of UK Export Finance and its staff for the innovative way in which they have responded to the pandemic, with the record level—more than £12 billion—given to UK businesses supporting more than 100,000 jobs up and down the country. Behind those 549 companies, of course, stand 10,000 or more supply chain companies. UKEF, at no cost to the taxpayer, makes an enormous difference to the prosperity and success of this country.
My Department continues to defend the interests of British industries in all parts of the United Kingdom. The Secretary of State is currently in the United States building on the historic arrangement that we secured in the Airbus-Boeing dispute, ensuring that the British aerospace sector can take off again after covid-19. Confidence in our fantastic aerospace manufacturing capability has never been at such heights. The United Airlines order of 70 A321neo aircraft last month will feature wonderful Welsh-made wings, and I look forward to further success in the future.
Does my hon. Friend agree that the Government’s ambitious strategy for growing exports needs to include more agricultural councils in our embassies, a UK export council to help co-ordinate that strategy, and better promotion and marketing of brand Britain abroad so that we can ensure that farming and food companies in Eddisbury and right across the country can embrace the undoubted benefits and opportunities that UK free trade deals can deliver?