Britain’s new trade chief thinks there’s more to life than trade deals

Britain’s trade chiefs have long loved a headline-grabbing, Instragram-worthy free-trade deal to get the Brexit blood pumping. But Kemi Badenoch has something much less sexy in mind: motorways.

The current international trade secretary — a onetime Tory leadership challenger and a firm favorite of the party grassroots — has spent the past few months since taking the reins at the Department for International Trade (DIT) stressing that she sees more to the beat than the host of big-bang agreements struck under previous holders of the post.

Instead, she’s trying to shift her department’s focus to the more prosaic stuff: ensuring businesses are actually using the deals Britain has already struck, reducing trade barriers, upping inward investment and boosting exports. And she’s got a favorite automotive metaphor to hammer the point home.

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