You don't need to know much about the WTO and international trade law, but it's important to understand that under WTO rules we must apply our MFN tariffs to any country with which we have no trade deal, i.e. not discriminate. See them here:…
We set our own MFN tariffs, which can be reduced to zero if we want but can't be higher than our maximum bound tariff rates set at the WTO. Trump unilaterally imposed tariffs on China trying to use national security and "public morals" exceptions but the WTO struck some down.
There are also anti-dumping duties, countervailing measures and safeguards. These are additional tariffs we can impose after proving there has been unfair trade under WTO rules, but that's a long story. They are mainly applied to specific countries and specific products.
The WTO also allows us to exempt some developing countries from our tariffs under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).…
This government's policy is usually to keep tariffs as low as possible, unless UK manufacturers can benefit from higher tariffs on foreign imports. It is always very difficult to decide between the interests of manufacturers and the interests of importers and consumers.

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More from @Life_Disrupted

9 Sep
When I was in the Department for International Trade I asked whether some of our plans would be legal. The answer was that it would take a long time for them to be legally challenged. Afterwards I was sacked.
I found out that we would be making up the rules as we went along and would try to charm other countries into accepting this. I was told they would even be grateful for what we were doing. And challenges at the WTO would take a long time.
I was also told I must have autism because of the way I ask questions.
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2 Jul
So I know this old bloke with a holiday home in Greece. He didn't vote for Brexit but his son is a massive Brexit supporter. The old guy, S., is furious that he will have to deal with new regulations. His son wants to bribe the local mayor. Should I call the police?
I didn't want to get involved but the son is acting crazy. He says we had to get Brexit done to level up and bounce back. Now he's doing press ups in his office. He hasn't brushed his hair for a couple of weeks by the looks of it. I am afraid there might soon be domestic violence
Oh God. The son has put on a hard hat and is pretending to be a construction worker.
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Nigel Farage is saying on LBC that we have to ask ourselves "Who are Black Lives Matter?" and adding that they are "very much of the hard left". Why is this fascist on the radio?
"It's a little bit of Marxism with some anarchy thrown in too. Actually it's based on a false premise." He says "only" 13 out of 163 people who have died in police custody in the UK in recent years were black.
He's now saying that US police aren't racist either. "Black crime in America makes up 53 percent of homicides, 60 percent of robberies," he adds.
Read 16 tweets
8 May
The Department for International Trade asked me for an extension on the deadline for providing me with a list of documents to be used in my employment tribunal against them. How are they going to do a deal with the EU on time if they can't provide a list of documents?
But they didn't ask in advance, they asked after the deadline had passed! So much for the rules-based order.
A judge orders you to do something and you agree to do it and then just don't do it? Seriously?
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5 Nov 19
Dominic Grieve is asking now if Boris Johnson has a credible explanation to exercise a veto of publication of his committee's Russia report.
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