The popular and effective Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) has been discontinued with immediate effect by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT).
The TAP export initiative has been hugely significant for the UK fashion and textile industries since it is practically unique as a conduit to financial help for smaller firms as they begin their export journey.
The UK Fashion and Textile Association UKFT has collaborated with those firms and the government to ensure that the subsidies are used effectively and that enterprises develop through overseas sales. The initiative gave a limited amount of financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attending major international trade fairs. Many household brands have been launched at important events utilising the technique in Paris, Milan, New York, Shanghai, Berlin, and Florence throughout the years.
UKFT has requested an immediate meeting with Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Exports at DIT, and Stephen Barclay MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. HM Treasury will consider how the government can continue to participate in international exhibitions, although it is unclear if fashion and textiles would remain a priority or whether funding will be included in any new plan.
UKFT, the Fashion and Textile Trade Federation, has stated that it is dedicated to working with the government to obtain the best deal possible for its exporters. During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, 468 UK fashion and textile firms benefited from the programme, totaling £568,350. According to the trade union, it will continue to work with the government to ensure that the industry receives the best possible deal in the new trade agreements.