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British Commonwealth Preferential Tariff Agreement

At the beginning of the 20th century, British exports had preferential access to Dominion markets, which some would like after Brexit. Although there are many examples of trade-based political diversion, imperial preference has been an ineffective trade policy in the case of New Zealand. As in the Edwardian era, the existence of trade agreements with the countries of the Empire (Commonwealth) does not guarantee a significant increase in British exports after Brexit. By radically changing customs policy in 1931 and 1932, the United Kingdom lifted the ban on taxing food imports, paving the way for a systematic policy of imperial preference. Such a policy, based on the principle of „producers of origin, producers of empires as second and last foreign producers,” was negotiated in 1932 at the Imperial Economic Conference in Ottawa and took the form of a series of bilateral agreements that were to be extended by five years (without formal renewals, they expire after 1937). I would like to assure the House that we have not lost sight of the importance of the Commonwealth preference system. How could we? But it is no less important to work for a growing Britain and a growing Commonwealth in the expansion of world trade. That is the context that we must always keep in mind. It would be a mistake to lose sight of the great opportunities offered by world trade by focusing exclusively on tariffs and preferences. Today, most of the Commonwealth`s trade has grown without any preference.

It has increased in value over the years, as the share of preferences and margins has decreased, although trade still enjoys preferences. In any case, why would it be impossible to do so under conditions as they are today in 946? There is only one reason. that the United States does not want it. Since the signing of the Ottawa agreements, the U.S. government has worked hard to undo them. Their first success was the 1938 Anglo-American trade agreement, to which I referred. Their next step was to insist that, during the war, we insist on the promise we made in Lend`s lease that we… Elimination of all forms of discriminatory treatment in international trade and reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers.