Reading chosen to police international trade

In spite of uncertainties over the form that Brexit will take, government preparations have been continuing to prepare the UK for trading independently once it leaves the European Union. One of the measures taken by the Department of International Trade has been to set up the Trading Remedies Authority (TRA), which will be based in the Berkshire Town of Reading.

By February 2019, 90 TRA staff had been recruited, representing about 70% of the final workforce to be employed. These are highly skilled jobs which include the Investigators, analysts, economists and legal experts required to protect UK businesses from unfair trading, working in compliance with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

The ideal choice

As reported in Living Reading, Trade Minister Greg Hands explained why Reading was selected for the TRA’s head office location.

“With its university, vibrant business community and great transport links – Reading is a very good place for this hugely important organisation, taking back powers from the EU that will support businesses across the UK.

“I’m confident the great talent pool in Reading will ensure the TRA can really hit the ground and become an integral part of our independent UK trade policy once we leave the EU.”

We would strongly agree with this assessment. As we noted in our news item “Town Centres that Work“, Reading was named in DEMOs/PwC “Good Growth for Cities” Index as the highest performing city in the UK along with Oxford. Our work in commercial interior design and office fit out projects in the town have also given us first-hand experience of its dynamic and forward-looking environment.

Protecting businesses

Claire Bassett, designated as the Trade Remedies Authority’s Chief Executive, has commented that: “We are committed to ensuring that UK industry continues to have the protection it needs against injury caused by unfair trading practices, or unforeseen surges in imports, once we have left the EU. That is why the Department have developed an independent trade remedies framework and I am looking forward to leading the TRA, to deliver this.

This is a hugely important task and reinforces the status of Reading as a major player in the field of international business.