Marcus raised marketing for Somerset produce such as cheese with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss in the House of Commons today. You can read the full statement here.
I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and the prospects for more engagement with the dynamic US economy. The Conservatives are the party of free trade. Whenever protectionism has been touted, such as in the elections of 1906 and 1923, it has not ended well for us. Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is big scope for more marketing support for our high-quality produce, such as Somerset cheddar and brie, and that fear of imports does not take account of the ability to deal in zero-tariff quota opening, rather than complete tariff reduction up to any amount?
My hon. Friend has outlined a number of options; I will be interested to hear more as we go through the negotiations. He is right that we have great products that are currently facing tariffs of up to 18%, and that we could eliminate those and see more exports into the US market. We will be looking at our export strategy—the exports Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Graham Stuart), is with me on the Front Bench—and ensuring that we turbocharge our exports as we go into this important year of being an independent trading nation.