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Peru: Exporters fear losing tariff preferences in the United Kingdom

Peruvian exporters are worried about what will happen with Peruvian shipments to the United Kingdom after the Brexit.

The British minister for Brexit, Steve Barclay, said there was no absolute guarantee that the United Kingdom could maintain the forty trade agreements that the European Union (EU) has signed with some seventy countries after it leaves the bloc.

Carlos Gonzalez, the director of the Research Center of Economy and Global Business of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), said the United Kingdom was an important market for Peru, as exports to this country are bordering the US $ 740 million, with a positive balance of US $480 million.

"46% of what we sell to this market are non-traditional products and 42% of these are agricultural products, so it is a vital market for agriculture," he said.

"Mining accounts for 48% of sales to the United Kingdom while the agricultural sector accounts for 42%," he added. "The products we sell the most to the United Kingdom, not including metals such as gold or tin, are avocados, asparagus, blueberries, grapes, coffee, mangoes, tangerines, quinoa, and peas," he stated.

The possibility that the United Kingdom won't be able to maintain the trade agreements signed by the EU is a sensitive issue for Peru, he added.

What would be at risk? "The Free Trade Agreements are more important for non-traditional products that enter with tariff preferences than for the mining products that are sold with or without FTA. What would really be at stake are exports for up to nearly US $340 million," Gonzalez said.

If the tariff preferences granted by the FTA are lost, local exporters would lose the position they have gained in that market, he added. One of the sectors that would have the greatest impact would be agriculture, as this would put exports worth US $182 million at risk.


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