UK suspends trade talks with Canada due to the prohibition on hormones in beef

The United Kingdom has terminated its trade negotiations with Canada following nearly two years of talks regarding a post-Brexit arrangement. Currently, trade between the two nations is conducted under the terms of an agreement that the UK carried over from its membership in the EU. The UK was able to keep selling cars and cheese without having to pay expensive import duties thanks to a temporary deal. However, negotiations to extend these as part of a new agreement have since collapsed.

Since officially exiting the EU trading regime in 2021, this is the first time the UK has put a formal stop to negotiations with a trading partner. Starting in April, British automakers may have to pay higher import duties, or tariffs, in order to sell into the Canadian market. The old terms, which ended at the end of 2023, had already resulted in higher Canadian taxes on British cheese earlier this month. Since March 2022, negotiations to establish a customized agreement have been ongoing between the two nations. Domestic cheese producers had been putting political pressure on Canada’s government.

Additionally, it had been advocating for the UK to loosen the prohibition on hormone-treated beef, which, according to its producers, essentially keeps them out of the British market. According to a representative for Canada’s trade minister, Mary Ng, she has informed UK Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch that she is “disappointed” at the stop in negotiations. The UK government has the ability to “pause negotiations with any country if progress is not being made,” according to a spokesman. “We have always said we will only negotiate trade deals that deliver for the British people,” they stated.

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