U.S. trade officials hope to strengthen trade ties with the U.K. as the country moves into a post-Brexit position after recent meetings between officials from both nations.
On Tuesday, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish met with George Hollingbery, the U.K. minister of state for trade policy, to discuss trade issues between the two nations. Gerrish described the wide-ranging trade meetings as “productive.”
“Of course, we hope to further deepen and expand this beneficial relationship – both now and following Brexit,” Gerrish established, following the meeting.
The U.S. trade official detailed, “We reviewed the progress made so far through our U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.K. Secretary of State Liam Fox established that group in 2017. It has convened four times since. A fifth meeting of the Working Group will take place November 2018 in Washington, DC. A third meeting of the U.S.-U.K. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue will also take place in New York in that month.
“We also discussed our broader trade relationship, including on-going discussions with the EU on reducing barriers to U.S.-EU trade and addressing the challenges faced by both our economies due to non-market-oriented policies and unfair trade practices of third countries,” said Gerrish.
“The U.S.-UK trade and investment relationship is already substantial,” Gerrish said Tuesday, adding:
We have two-way trade in goods and services of over $230 billion annually, with each of us being the other’s largest single supplier of services and a top supplier of goods. We are also both each other’s largest source of foreign investment with nearly $1.3 trillion invested in each other’s economies.
U.K. citizens voted to exit the European Union (Brexit) through a June 23, 2016, referendum. Tumultuous Brexit negotiations under U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May have emboldened a group of influential MPs to move toward calling for a “no deal” Brexit that a research report states would greatly benefit poor- and working-class individuals. As the U.K. continues working toward leaving the European Union, wages have grown at a faster pace than inflation over four months, and unemployment has had multi-decade lows.