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EU membership secures UK new trade deal with Canada

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Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 25 September 2017 15:58

EU membership secures UK new trade deal with Canada

While our Government battles to win us trading rights with the EU, while also leaving it for good, with more than a touch of irony membership has secured the UK a new deal with Canada.

And just days after coming into effect that deal – which sees 99 per cent of duties on British goods slashed – already looks set to benefit a county-based exporter of extreme sports helmets, Ruroc.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) no less called on the Gloucester business for a comment to help promote the changes which it says will be beneficial to UK businesses.

Following help from DIT, the family-run firm has already been enjoying ‘high levels’ of success in Canada.

Daniel Rees, CEO and co-founder of Ruroc, said: “We’ve had a great deal of success from exporting our helmets to Canada and with working with companies out there.

“The people are great, the Canadian culture is similar to ours and there are limited language barriers making digital/social promotion extremely easy and cost effective.”

British producers of machinery, electrical equipment, cars, and pharmaceuticals will see import tariffs of up to 9.5 per cent on their trade with Canada slashed after the European Parliament supported the EU-Canada free trade deal (known as CETA).

According to the EU Britain is Canada’s sixth largest source of goods, exporting £4.5 billion to the North American country in 2015.

The UK is the EU's second biggest exporter of motor vehicles to Canada, with £600 million worth annually, 15 per cent of the EU total.

Exports of machinery and electrical equipment are said to be worth £1.2 billion to the UK.

“These sectors employ more than 380,000 people in the UK and account for 16 per cent of total EU exports to Canada,” according to the EU’s website, ec.europa.eu.

Ruroc’s stylish helmets are described as a world first. With integrated goggles and a detachable face mask, its helmets protect from rocks, rails and sub-zero wind-chill. The original design was developed by the founder over 10 years ago on the slopes of the Canadian Rockies after days of frozen foreheads, fogged-up goggles, and icy chins.

After success with the ski and snowboard communities the helmets have also been modified for Formula One pit crews and even used by the likes of McLaren and Red Bull.

Ruroc has seen overall sales rise from an estimated £1.1million in 2014/15 to £2.1million in 2016/17 – the latter delivering £180,000 of profit.

The firm has been working on new helmet designs as well as a new facility in the United States of America in Utah.

Liam Fox, international trade secretary, said: “CETA opens the door for UK companies to trade easily and cheaply with a valuable market in which there is considerable demand for British products, skills and expertise.

“As an international economic department, we will help UK companies to make the most of this boost to bilateral trade and lay solid foundations for our trading ties with Canada.”

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