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Responding to the release of the Government’s Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy, at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“This strategy provides a substantial and compelling picture of the reliance an open trading economy, like the UK’s, has on these imports.

“We welcome its publication and its 18 recommendations, particularly the establishment of a Critical Imports Council, offering a focus on how the strategy is being delivered.

“We believe there is a role that trade policy can play, alongside inward investment strategy and industrial policy, to increase supply chain security.

“We would encourage Government to consider using free trade agreements and other mutual recognition deals with like-minded partners to broaden the UK’s supply sources.

“In particular, we hope the UK can develop deeper relationships with key critical material countries like Chile, and successfully conclude a Critical Minerals Agreement with the US.

“The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East show the UK’s deep connectivity with the rest of the world for key medicines, communications technology and components for manufacturing.

“We believe the Strategy sets out the right approach and look forward to engaging on how it can be delivered in the interests of growth in trade and inward investment.”

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