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UK-US Prepare for Trade Negotiations

13 March 2020

Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands is in the United States this week (9-11 March) as the UK and US prepare to kick-start free trade agreement negotiations.


Securing a trade agreement with the US is a priority for the UK government. The country is the UK’s largest single trading partner, with total trade reaching £221 billion in 2019. Indeed, government analysis shows that the UK economy will benefit from a £3.4 billion boost, as the trade agreement will increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3 billion.

Almost every industry – from agriculture to business services – will benefit, and the government is pushing for a dedicated SME chapter in an agreement to help the UK’s 5.9 million small businesses.

Minister Hands will meet business and industry leaders, as well as US government representatives in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. His visit comes a week after the UK government published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with the US.

In New York, Minister Hands is attending a meeting with the Manhattan Institute, followed by a roundtable with BritishAmerican Business.

The Minister will then travel to Pennsylvania, where he will meet Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture and the Chamber of Commerce. He will conclude the trip in Washington DC, where he will meet US representatives to discuss the opportunities around the upcoming trade negotiations.

"From Harrisburg to Harrogate, this deal will benefit people on both sides of the Atlantic. It will scrap unnecessary red tape, bring more opportunities for businesses, lower prices and create better jobs in the UK and the US," Rt Hon Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy said. "Securing free trade deals will be a key driver in levelling up the UK, and a trade deal with our largest single trading partner will benefit every UK region and nation. I am delighted to be on the East coast this week to discuss our objectives ahead of the negotiations."

"BritishAmerican Business (BAB) is delighted to be hosting Minister Hands as part of his visit to New York City; we will be holding a round table discussion with business leaders before a broader reception to launch ‘Growing US’ our publication showcasing British investment success stories in America," said Duncan Edwards, CEO BritishAmerican Business. "We will be working closely with Minister Hands and the whole Department for International Trade team as the UK-US negotiations begin later in March to ensure that any agreement fully incorporates the views of businesses large and small trading across the Atlantic."

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