Sub-national Government Involvement in International Trade Negotiations

This report sets out the findings from a rapid evidence review of sub-national government involvement in international trade negotiations.

The UK Government’s trade negotiations with the EU will have important implications for Wales. It is however unclear whether, and how, the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly will secure a meaningful voice in the discussions.

Sub-national government involvement in international trade negotiations varies not just between countries but within countries too. Some, such as Quebec, have secured involvement because they hold pre-existing competences critical to the success of the agreement.

These examples could be instructive for Wales. Our report suggests that there are a number of steps that Wales might consider to maximise its influence in forthcoming trade negotiations.

It might:

  • Engage in diplomacy with both the UK Government and other stakeholders, such as the EU and EU member states, prior to negotiations;
  • Prioritise clear and specific priorities of particular importance to the Welsh economy;
  • Recruit a ‘heavyweight’ lead negotiator with experience in international relations and trade;
  • Invest in negotiating teams that boost the Welsh Government’s capacity to engage in complex negotiations with multiple stakeholders.