New UK Chief Negotiator for global trade deals

New UK Chief Negotiator for global trade deals

19/06/17

Sam Deave, Corporate Services Manager

The Department for International Trade has announced that Crawford Falconer will be the UK’s Chief Negotiator on trade deals with the rest of the world and Second Permanent Secretary at the department.

Falconer is both a British and New Zealand citizen and has had a long career with New Zealand’s Foreign Office, specialising in trade. He has acted as New Zealand deputy secretary, vice minister for International Trade and Foreign Affairs, and is a former ambassador to the World Trade Organization.

Falconer wrote back in 2016, prior to the announcement of his new position, that the UK would want some ‘quick runs’ and suggested a Australia/New Zealand-UK-Singapore-Japan deal off the back of the US pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Talking from a New Zealand trade approach, he also suggested a less intrusive approach to trade deals, the need for taking China’s Belt and Road initiative more seriously, and turning up the gas on India with regards to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. All of these points signify a negotiator who is aware of the importance and prospects of Asian economies and if his priorities are guided by experience, we could see a dramatic shift in UK government thinking towards the region.