CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Post Brexit, UK Seeks Free Trade Deal with China

China - UK Freed Trade Deal.

(Photo : Getty Images) The UK is expected to sign a free trade deal with China soon.

The UK's Chancellor Philip Hammond has expressed confidence that Britain would be able to seal a historic free trade deal with China soon, the BBC reported.         

Philip Hammond was speaking on the sidelines of G20 meeting in China, where the Chancellor stressed that Britain would be in a much better position to seize economic opportunities offered by non-European countries post-Brexit.

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"The mood music that I have heard here is very much that this will mean more opportunity for countries like China that are outside the European Union to do business with Britain," Hammond said.

Hammond added that trade relations between Britain and China are already very robust, with major companies from both countries making huge investments.

This is the first time that the UK has initiated the process of signing a major trade with the second largest economy in the world. Earlier this month, Chinese state media reported that China's Commerce Ministry was interested in signing a free trade deal with the UK.       

The BBC reported that free trade deal would give Chinese companies unprecedented access to Britain's economy. In return, the Chinese government is expected to reduce barriers for Britain's service industry players like banking and insurance as well as UK products.

However, the free trade agreement is likely to raise concerns about the impact of cheap Chinese manufactured goods easily entering into the UK market. Britain's steel industry has already been badly hit by China's cheap steel imports, with many of its big steel plants facing closure.

Hammond said he raised the issue of steel dumping during G20 meeting at Chengdu, adding that it would be "certainly appropriate" to start a fresh discussion over the issue with China's leadership.   

Many trade analysts in the UK want the government to address concerns about China's dumping of cheap imports before signing the free trade.

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