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Aust, UK to start free trade deal talks

Australia will soon begin talks for a “gold-standard” free trade deal with the United Kingdom.

A scoping assessment for a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement is expected to be published in coming weeks before the start of virtual talks, which have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian High Commissioner George Brandis says he’s confident of a mutually beneficial deal.

“As Australia’s Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham and the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, have said, we are ambitious about concluding a gold-standard free trade agreement,” he told AAP.

“Our negotiations will get underway soon, and we are confident in doing a deal that creates more jobs and economic opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Australia and the EU have completed the seventh round of talks on a free trade deal.

Negotiators held more than 50 videoconferences on issues including goods, rules of origin, customs, state-owned enterprises, government procurement, digital trade, intellectual property, services and investment and sustainable development.

Talks about French farming subsidies have been holding up progress, The Australian reported on Wednesday.

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