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UK signs trade deal with Canada to prepare for Brexit

Saturday, November 21, 2020 | Danica Kirka, Associated Press


Minister of International Trade Mary Ng participates in a news conference on the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement in Ottawa, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. The U.K. signed an interim trade deal with Canada on Saturday, the second major agreement the country has reached as negotiators hurry to cement trading relationships in preparation for life outside the European Union. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. signed an interim trade deal with Canada on Saturday, giving it more time to negotiate future trading rules as the British government prepares the country for business life outside the European Union.

The stopgap agreement allows trade between the two countries to continue under the same terms as Canada's existing treaty with the EU while negotiators begin work on a new bilateral deal between the U.K. and Canada, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. Canada is the U.K.'s eighth-biggest non-EU trading partner.

While Britain formally withdrew from the EU in January, it continues to trade with other countries under the bloc’s umbrella during a transition period scheduled to end Dec. 31. Without a series of new bilateral agreements, trade with countries around the world may be hampered by barriers such as tariffs and increased paperwork.

"Our negotiators have been working flat-out to secure trade deals for the U.K., and from as early next year we have agreed to start work on a new, bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go even further in meeting the needs of our economy,” Johnson said.

Johnson's government says the ability to strike free trade agreements with countries around the world is one of the main benefits of leaving the EU. It is banking on increased trade with countries such as the United States and India to offset any negative impact from severing ties with the EU, which accounted for 47% of Britain's overall trade last year.

Britain ships goods ranging from electric cars to sparkling wine to Canada, and imports products such as salmon and maple syrup from the Commonwealth country that also recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

The deal with Canada locks in existing trading rules that cover 20 billion pounds ($27 billion) of trade between the two countries, or about 1.5% of the U.K.'s total trade in goods and services last year.

The U.K. has now secured post-Brexit trade deals with 53 countries accounting for 164 billion pounds ($218 billion) of bilateral trade, the government said. That's less than 12% of the 1.4 trillion pounds (about $1.9 trillion) of trade Britain recorded last year.

Britain has yet to strike a deal with the European Union on post-Brexit trading rules. Both sides have warned there could be a no-deal end to the transition period next month unless the two sides can soon bridge their remaining differences on fishing, state aid for industry and the resolution of future disputes.

Without an agreement on future relations between Britain and the EU, trade between the two entities would be carried out under World Trade Organization terms.

Johnson's government says this type of relationship wouldn't hamper trade, but opponents warn that tariffs would increase prices for British consumers and border checks would lead to shortages of some goods.


7 Gold Stocks to Buy Before the Fed Changes Its Mind

Just when investors thought that the price of gold couldn’t go any higher, the Federal Reserve added fuel to the fire. On July 29, the Fed said there was not sufficient evidence of an economic recovery to warrant changing their current policies. Not only does that mean that interest rates will stay at or nor zero, but that the Fed may initiate other actions as well. In his statement after the Fed meeting, chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed was “not even thinking about thinking about raising rates.” And while the novel coronavirus was certainly a factor, it’s not the only factor. The Fed is looking intently at the collateral damage from the lockdown measures in March and April. Over 14 million Americans who had jobs in February are unemployed. And many of those jobs will not be coming back.

This is creating the perfect scenario for gold and gold stocks. The price of gold has surged over 25% in 2020. At the time of this writing, it sits at $1,953 per ounce. Of course as soon as gold starts to near $2,000 the cries that the rally is over begin.

Are they right again? Maybe, but I’m a little skeptical. Gold always climbs during times of uncertainty. That’s true today more than ever. We’re months away from a presidential election. We’re learning how to live with a novel virus for which there is no vaccine. We have social unrest that has turned into riots in many major cities.

With that in mind, here are seven of the best gold stocks that you can invest in right now.

View the "7 Gold Stocks to Buy Before the Fed Changes Its Mind".

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