Chair and Chief Executive Designates appointed to UK Trade Remedies Authority

Chair Designate, Sir David Wright and Chief Executive Designate, Claire Bassett will join the future Trade Remedies Authority in Reading. The new, independent UK body will protect UK industries from unfair trade

The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, the Rt. Hon Dr. Liam Fox MP, has today appointed Sir David Wright, the UK’s former Ambassador to Japan and Korea, to DIT as Chair Designate of the UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which will serve to protect the UK’s industries from harmful or unfair trade after we leave the European Union.

Sir David previously served as Chief Executive of British Trade International – later known as UK Trade and Investment.

Department for International Trade Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, has also announced that Claire Bassett, currently Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission and formerly of the Parole Board for England and Wales, has been appointed TRA Chief Executive Designate after an open Civil Service recruitment process. Claire will be leaving her role at the Electoral Commission.

Based in Reading, the TRA will be a UK-wide body responsible for investigating claims of harmful or unfair trading practices by businesses abroad, including dumping products on the UK market. Where these are found, the TRA will propose measures to remove any injury suffered by UK industry, with a final decision taken by the Secretary of State.

Welcoming their appointment, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

"The TRA will protect UK industry against unfair trading practices, so it is in our national interest to ensure it is set up and appropriately staffed now in the case of no deal.

"That is why I am calling for all opposition parties in both the House of Commons and Lords to give support to the Trade Bill to ensure no parts of the UK or UK industries are at risk of being unprotected.

"So, I am delighted to welcome Sir David and Claire as Chair and Chief Executive Designates to the TRA, which will take the reins on protecting British industry as we leave the European Union.

"I have the utmost confidence in their vast experience and I am certain they will do an excellent job in supporting UK businesses, ensuring that our trade with the world remains fair as well as free."

Chair Designate of the TRA, Sir David Wright said:

"The TRA will support UK businesses in the international trading environment.

"This is something I’ve been doing throughout my career, both in government and in the private sector, and protecting British businesses and jobs from harmful or unfair trading practices will be my key priority.

"I’m delighted to be appointed as Chair Designate of the TRA and I am ready to start building this crucial organisation, alongside a strong team."

Chief Executive Designate of the TRA, Claire Bassett said:

"As we build our independent trade policy for the UK, it’s important that we continue to protect our domestic industries against harmful or unfair trading practices.

"So, it’s a real honour to be appointed as Chief Executive Designate of the TRA. I am very much looking forward to working with Sir David Wright and the new team to set up this exciting new body and begin doing its important work."

Trade remedy measures support free trade by ensuring it is also based on rules, in accordance with the UK’s international obligations to the World Trade Organisation and traditions. These ensure that UK industry is not left unprotected against these unfair trading practices.

The appointees will take up their posts in the coming months, and will be focused on establishing the TRA in preparation from the UK’s departure from the European Union in March next year.